Lonely Planet Writer

Why one little bird could hold up an entire music festival in Canada

Every summer, Canada’s capital is overtaken by an 11-day music festival that is set to start this year on 5 July. But the preparations for the summer staple have been held up by a little bird and her eggs.

A killdeer is holding up a music festival in Ottawa. Image by Neal Mishler/Getty Images

Bluesfest, the biggest music festival in Ottawa, has found a foe in the form of a killdeer who built her nest and laid eggs where the festival is set to take place, according to Global News. Held in LeBreton Flats Park next to the Canadian War Museum, the nest is actually right where the main stage is supposed to be built. The problem comes from the fact that the killdeer is protected by Canada’s laws on migratory birds, so if the eggs don’t hatch and the birds don’t move along soon, festival organizers are in a bit of a bind.

While the eggs should be hatched by mid-June, this killdeer and her future chicks are still holding tight as it nears the end of the month. If the eggs don’t hatch, the festival is hoping federal officials may approve moving the nest to a spot where it could be protected from the crowds that will flock to the site to see acts like the Foo Fighters, Shawn Mendes, Beck and Courtney Barnett. According to the CBC, another option is that that the birds could be moved to a wildlife centre.

But, since in the meantime the bird has a right to stay put, workers have set up caution tape around the nest while organizers work with the government to find a solution, according to the CBC. Biologists and officials have been monitoring the situation and there is a security guard on site to make sure the bird stays safe.

According to the Canadian Wildlife Federation, killdeer eggs have an incubation period of about 24 to 26 days. The chicks will then take between 18 to 36 hours to break out of their shell, but they will be able to leave the nest as soon as their down dries off. In the meantime, the city of Ottawa is hoping one bird won’t cause too much summertime blues.