Ottawa

Bluesfest bird officially a mom as all 4 eggs hatch

The killdeer that nearly drove Bluesfest officials cuckoo with its nest placement now has four new chicks.

Killdeer's nest had threatened construction of festival's main stage

A killdeer poses with one of her hatchlings on the Ottawa Bluesfest festival grounds on June 30, 2018. The bird had initially built her nest on the future site of the festival's main stage, required it to be painstakingly relocated. (Marc DesRosiers/Front Page Photo)

The killdeer whose nest had been threatening the construction of Bluesfest's main stage is officially a new mom.

Three of the bird's four eggs hatched Saturday afternoon, officials with the popular Ottawa music festival confirmed to CBC News.

The fourth egg hatched Sunday morning, but by that time the mother and her offspring had already abandoned the nest and left the LeBreton Park site, festival spokesperson Joe Reilly said.

The chick has now been taken into the care of the Wild Bird Care Centre until it's able to be released into the wild, Reilly said.

That shouldn't be long, he added, since killdeers are born precocial — meaning they're quickly able to survive on their own.

The fourth killdeer egg hatched on the morning of July 1, 2018, but by that time the mother bird had already abandoned her nest. (Scott Pollard/Ottawa Bluesfest)

Nest slowly moved

The killdeer had initially built its nest on a cobblestone path near where the festival's main stage was set to go up.

That meant the festival needed permission from Environment and Climate Change Canada to relocate the eggs before starting construction — which they got earlier this week.

The eggs were then painstakingly moved away from the main stage site, roughly one metre at a time, so that the killdeer could get acclimatized to the new surroundings.

By Wednesday morning, the small platform used to carry the eggs had been placed on top of an artificial nest about 25 metres away from the original nest.

Two of the eggs hatched early Saturday afternoon, while the third hatched at around 5:30 p.m.

'Great ending'

"This is a great ending to what has been an amazing journey this week," Bluesfest executive director Mark Monahan said in a statement.

As of Saturday afternoon, Bluesfest officials had not settled on names for the chicks. 

The 10-day festival gets underway July 5 at LeBreton Flats.

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