OTTAWA — A small plover and her egg-laden nest are holding hostage the biggest music festival in the national capital.
Workers came across the killdeer and its nest just as they were preparing to set up one of the main stages at Ottawa’s four-day Bluesfest event, which takes place in front of the Canadian War Museum.
The bird and the four eggs — both of which enjoy protected status in Canada — are nestled on a cobblestone patch that would normally be directly underneath the main Bluesfest stage.
Eggs generally take between 24 and 26 days to hatch, and it is unusual for them not to hatch by mid-June.
If the eggs don’t hatch by end of day, the festival’s executive director says setup work on the stages will be thrown off and have to be rejigged to make sure everything is ready in time for the festival’s scheduled start July 5.
Mike Monahan says organizers are also waiting on word from federal officials about whether they may be able to move the bird in the event the eggs don’t hatch by day’s end.
Killdeer young are able to fly away soon after they are hatched.
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.
The Canadian Press