A Nesting Bird Is Threatening to Derail Ottawa's RBC Bluesfest

A Nesting Bird Is Threatening to Derail Ottawa's RBC Bluesfest
Ottawa's RBC Bluesfest is set to kick off later next week, bringing Foo Fighters, Shawn Mendes, Bryan Adams, Beck, Rae Sremmurd and many more to the nation's capital. However, an unexpected attendee that flew in for the fest ahead of time has made site preparation a challenge for organizers.

As the CBC reports, a killdeer is nesting among the cobblestones of a path out front of the Canadian War Museum, where Bluesfest's main stage is set to be built. The festival's stage crew need to begin construction on the stage Tuesday (June 26) in order to have it ready for opening night on July 5.

UPDATE (6/26, 2:06 p.m. EDT): Environment Canada reports [via CBC] that the killdeer nest has been moved to a nearby "suitable habitat."

Nate Graves, the worker who discovered the nesting killdeer, told the CBC he first noticed the bird "about five feet away flapping its wings at me. So I backed away and then it ran off and pretended it had a broken wing."

Graves added, "I've seen that before. I knew it was protecting a nest. I looked [and saw] there's four eggs right where [the] main stage sits."

At present, the killdeer's nesting area has been cordoned off with caution tape, while workers do their best to not interfere with the bird. Biologists and representatives from the National Capital Commission visited the site Friday (June 22), telling the CBC they had also been in contact with the federal Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change about the situation.

Naturalist Michael Runtz notes that moving the nest would not be the ideal solution, telling the broadcaster that parents may abandon their eggs should they be moved more than a metre away.

He added that the killdeer birds will easily move away from the area and take care of themselves not long after hatching.

"They just love to put their eggs on a gravelly base because their eggs are the colour of small stones. So they blend in very well with that kind of background," Runtz explained. "[But] unless the eggs hatch before Bluesfest gets set up, those eggs will be in trouble."

As of press time, RBC Bluesfest organizers have not issued any official comment concerning the bird.

Ottawa's RBC Bluesfest runs July 5 to 15 at LeBreton Flats. Further ticketing information can be found through the festival's official website.