Nest in transit, killdeers not chirping

Eggs are seen below a nesting killdeer bird on a cobblestone path on the site of the Ottawa Bluesfest music festival next to the Canadian War Museum Monday

Eggs are seen below a nesting killdeer bird on a cobblestone path on the site of the Ottawa Bluesfest music festival next to the Canadian War Museum Monday

In less than two weeks, an estimated 300,000 music fans are expected to flock to the capital city's riverfront Lebreton Flats neighbourhood for the annual Bluesfest.

Killdeers nesting spots are protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act. A nest discovered by organizers of the RBC Bluesfest in Ottawa, Canada has prevented them from constructing its main stage.

"We've cordoned off the area in order to protect the bird and the nest and the eggs and we've looked at our options of what we can do".

"I have to say this is one of the most challenging problems that we've been presented with recently, but we feel we can work through this".

The four eggs of a mother killdeer have not yet hatched.

A request was made at that time, to be able to move the nest, as the stage's construction was slated to begin Tuesday.

In the meantime, organizers are keeping yellow caution tape in place around the nest site and the National Capital Commission is paying for 24-hour security on ground overseen by the federal agency.

Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary executive director Monika Melichar took each of the four killdeer eggs from their nest and placed them in a custom-built nest and walked away with her fingers crossed.

If the situation is not resolved quickly, the festival could face "some delays that could start to snowball", he added.

The festival is now seeking permission from Environment Canada to relocate the nest some 50 metres away or take it to a wildlife centre, so that as many as 10 tractor trailers a day can continue to bring in equipment for the festival's five stages.

"The thing is these birds have now been elevated to celebrity status, everybody knows about them", said Dr. David Bird, an Ornithologist. "So we're trying to come up with a solution that's best obviously for the eggs and the birds, and also hopefully that wouldn't hamper our ability to set up and eventually put on the festival".

Others expressed annoyance that the small plover, which is widespread across North America, was risking a festival that contributes more than C$30m annually to the local economy.

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