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Killdeer Stalls Canada's Bluesfest

Killdeer Stalls Canada's Bluesfest

June 26, 2018 | by James Greene, Jr.

"I have to say this is one of the most challenging problems that we've been presented with recently."

That's a quote from Mark Monahan, executive director of Ottawa-based music event Bluesfest, which is presenting performances this year from Shawn Mendes, Foo Fighters, and Dave Matthews Band. The only question is when — though Bluesfest is scheduled to begin July 5, the recent discovery of a killdeer nest on festival property has put everything on hold. Killdeer are a federally protected species in Canada; the nest and its four eggs cannot be moved without government permission.

For the time being, Bluesfest employees have protected the nest area with caution tape and a security guard. Alternate nesting locations have been identified, areas that would protect the unborn killdeer from the vigorous rhythms of Dave Matthews, but Bluesfest is still waiting to hear from federal officials.

Killdeer are medium sized plovers who primarily feed on insects but occasionally gobble up small frogs and minnows. To distract predators, killdeer will utilize a diversionary tactic in which they pretend to have a broken wing. Pretty smart, killdeer.

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