Bird, Bird, Bird is the word! Bluesfest killdeer welcomes new hatchlings
Ottawa residents are celebrating the birth of several baby Bluesfest Killdeer.
The festival said three of the killdeer eggs hatched Saturday. The fourth and final egg hatched on Canada Day.
A spokesperson for Bluesfest said the older birds were acting weird on Saturday morning so that's when staff first knew something was up.
A few hours later, the crew noticed the first chick breaking through its shell and started running around. The mother Killdeer came back to gather her newborn babies and took them off Bluesfest grounds to learn how to fly and find food.
"This is a great ending to what has been an amazing journey this week," Mark Monahan, Bluesfest executive director said in an emailed statement. "Now, the show must go on!"
The births come just days after experts moved the Killdeer nest and eggs about 25 meters from where they were first laid.
Last Friday, the Killdeer mother and her nest were discovered on a cobbleston path where the main stage for Ottawa Bluesfest was to be setup.
Environment Canada gave Bluesfest permission to move the killdeer nest at LeBreton Flats to a nearby "suitable habitat."
Monika Melichar, with the Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary in Minden, Ont., drove to Ottawa to help move the eggs. They were placed in a small, imitation nest and carefully moved one metre at a time, roughly every hour.
Festival crews erected a 140-foot main stage, working on cranes, trailers and heavy equipment around the birds.
The parents continued to nurse their babies in the nest, unfazed by the massive effort going on a few metres away.
Killdeers are a protected species under the Migratory Bird Act, meaning organizers of Bluesfest couldn’t move the nest or the eggs without permission, which was granted Tuesday.
There was speculation that the plan was to name the chicks after some of the headline acts at this year's festival, but in a tweet over the weekend, Bluesfest said it would give away full festival passes for the best name suggestions.
🐣🐣🐣 HATCH ALERT: three little bundles of joy have emerged from the #bluesnest! Mama killdeer and babies are well & a sibling is expected imminently.— RBC Bluesfest Ottawa (@ottawabluesfest) June 30, 2018
We're taking naming suggestions - tell us your fave 4 names for a chance to win full festival passes! pic.twitter.com/R6Ug3Ndube