Music Festival in Limbo Over 4 Eggs

Ottawa Bluesfest

Ottawa Bluesfest

"We've seen it all - you name it, we've seen it", Sauve said.

A bird's nest in an Ottawa park, steps from parliament, risked derailing preparations for one of Canada's largest urban music festivals.

The festival, one of the biggest of its kind in Canada, is set to begin July 5.

Moving the nest would also ensure the bird and its young would be protected from stomping patrons during the festival's 11-day run, said Monahan.

Mark Monahan, Bluesfest executive director, said an official who has a federal licence to handle migratory birds is on her way to help move the eggs.

Crews have since blocked off the area surrounding the nest with caution tape, while the National Capital Commission, which owns the festival grounds, has hired a security guard to watch over the nest around the clock. "We have no indication right now that this bird will disrupt the actual event taking place".

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As Monahan spoke, the mother killdeer sat still and seemingly unperturbed on its nest, which is located in the middle of a circular cobblestone feature at the southwest corner of the festival grounds.

"Most of the people we're working with, including the environmentalist at the NCC, are looking for a positive solution". However, he says he's confident the show will go on. "It's highly unlikely that that activity level ... will be conducive for the eggs or the birds to continue to be here".

Dealing with a bird's nest is a first for Monahan.

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

The killdeer's propensity to build its nest in open fields or flat areas with little vegetation has caused a flap in other jurisdictions; earlier this year construction on a US$4m health center in Ladysmith, Wisconsin was temporarily halted after a killdeer and its clutch of four eggs were discovered.

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