Roadside trimming and nesting bird alert

A notice and letter by Bev Wigney

I just sent this email to Premier McNeil.  I’ve posted this to the
Annapolis environment group, and also shared it to the HFC FB group
(might not be approved and posted there yet).  Anyhow, I am
encouraging everyone to send off an email as well.  I just sent this
to McNeil as he is the only one who ever responds to my emails.  I
haven’t included the photos mentioned in the captions, but you can see
them on Facebook.  I’m hoping this gets shared around on the various
forestry groups and that people will take the time to send off emails.

Dear Premier  McNeil,

I want to keep this short and direct and ask that you take action on
this as soon as possible as every day counts.

Members of the Nova Scotia Bird Protectors group and our Annapolis
Royal & Area Environment & Ecology group, have been watching with
horror as “tree grinders” have been destroying the fencerow trees
alongside roads for the past few weeks.  I know that most politicians
probably don’t have time to walk along a roadside in June, but the
fencerows are absolutely FULL of nesting birds and their fledglings
that have not yet learned to fly.  I know this as I have a hedgerow
right in front of my own house which is where I took the photos of a
nesting bird that I have attached, along with a photo that was posted
to our group, of a hedgerow in Kings County that was just pulverized
into nothing — birds included. I’m sorry, but this kind of wanton
destruction of wildlife just can’t go on.  This is vicious and
unacceptable anthropogenic behaviour in a province where we pride
ourselves to be intelligent, compassionate human beings.

We have over a hundred species of birds that fly thousands of
kilometers each spring to nest in the woods and hedgerows of this
province from about mid May to the end of July.  They come here, spend
as much as 10 days building their nests, 2 or 3 weeks incubating their
eggs, and then often a month feeding and raising young until they are
fledged and can fly.  During this time, they are vulnerable and easily
destroyed by human activity — such as chopping down forests and
grinding up hedgerows along roadsides. Those who do this kind of
destruction claim that the birds will just flush and fly away.  That
is false, as demonstrated by my photo of the Red-eyed Vireo on her
nest (photo attached) who is “sitting tight” with her eggs.  Many
birds will NOT flush of their nests and are chopped or pulverized by
machines. The killing of these birds is also *illegal* under the terms
of the Migratory Birds Convention Act.  People in government are
saying that it only protects “Species At Risk”.  This is entirely
false!  The MBCA protects ALL migratory nesting birds.  It is just as
much a crime to grind up a Red-eyed Vireo nest such as the one in my
photos, as it is to grind up a Canada Warbler nest!!

Can we not, as supposedly caring and humane inhabitants of Nova
Scotia, find a way to STOP doing these activities during the most
critical time for birds?  There are 12 months in a year.  In 2 of
those months, there are birds nesting in our forests and hedgerows.
Why is it that almost ALL destructive activities in this province
occur during those SAME two months?  There are TEN other months during
which this kind of work could be done.  Can we not do better?  Do we
have to behave like thugs who contribute to the rapidly increasing
DECLINE of almost all bird species on this continent?  Please discuss
this with your colleagues and try to come up with an immediate
solution to this unnecessary destruction.  There are still a few weeks
left of nesting season.  Please make this happen a.s.a.p.

Caption of Photos::
1.)  A female Red-Eyed Vireo “sitting tight” on her nest of eggs which
is fastened to a small Sugar Maple sapling inside the fencerow
alongside Route 201 at the bridge at Round Hill on July 4, 2019.
(photo by Bev Wigney).
2.) The same Red-Eyed Vireo nest as seen from a few steps away —
showing how DIFFICULT it is to see a nest unless you already know it
is there. (photo by Bev Wigney)
2.) A recently PULVERIZED hedgerow along a rural road in Kings County
that was full of nesting birds  (photo by Tracy Horsman).
Thank you,
Bev Wigney
Round Hill, NS

Email addresses for Premier McNeil:
Stephen McNeil <>, “Premier Stephen
McNeil:,” <>


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Nature trivia support


Are you smarter than a Young Naturalist? Come out (virtually) and prove it! Our second-ever ADULT event is now ENTIRELY ONLINE! Join the NS Young Naturalists Club on Monday July 13th for some Nature-inspired TRIVIA and PRIZE DRAWS! $1 from every Good Robot product sold on this date will go to the YNC to support our education programs across Nova Scotia, getting kids outdoors and engaging the next generation of conservation leaders through hands-on natural science programing.


Did you know Good Robot delivers? Make your beer run order by 7pm and they’ll deliver it THAT DAY! Right in time for trivia ūüėČ Just make sure you make that order on Monday, so the YNC benefits from those hoppy donations.


Now that you have your Good Robot brews ready, sit down in front of your screen and get ready for some competitive nature-themed trivia!  Live-streamed Online starting at 7pm: PART 1 – Name That Bird! Work your way through progressively tougher Bird ID Quizzes for our nature-themed prizes. Play it safe with the backyard birds or take on the notoriously difficult gulls! Work independently or as part of a team! Prizes for the teams with the highest scores!
PART 2 – Nature Trivia! Do you know which conifer loses its needles in winter? Why don’t birds pee? What percentage of a mushroom is water? High scores win prizes!

We’ll be Live on Youtube at 7pm:

Learn more about the Young Naturalists Club here:

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Nature art and writing contest announced

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Trepa treasurer needed

TREPA is looking for a volunteer for treasurer. The association handles fewer than 100 transactions a year and the monthly statements are prepared by a volunteer with a local accounting firm. The treasurer pays bills approved by the board, deposits money received and serves on the board of directors that meets once a month. If you’re interested contact Barrie MacGregor, current president, at¬†

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Forest fire report

From Bev Wigney

Here is a link to the story with Phlis McGregor about the recent¬†forest fires that took place on previously harvested parcels of Crown¬†Land. The cause of at least two has been determined to be “tracked¬†machinery sparking on rock” but the cause of the other fires is not¬†being disclosed.

I was interviewed on the topic of whether Nova Scotia should befollowing New Brunswick’s lead of calling a halt to forestry operations on Crown Land during these times of heat and drought. I¬†have several reasons for concern.

First, this is loss of forest when it could be prevented.

Second, it is loss of wildlife that are being destroyed along with habitat during these fires.

Third, all of these¬†larger fires we attended by VFDs from many locations and had their ¬†crews tied up for many hours far from their stations — meaning that¬†this reduced the number of crews that could have responded to¬†structure or other fires near their home ground.

Fourth, I don’t¬†think our typical VFDs are properly equipped to be fighting forest¬†fires.¬† The New Brunswick article on this topic stated how much¬†equipment they have and I’m certain it is far more than we have here
in NS — and JD Irving is having forwarding machines built to carry¬†big tanks for firefighting.¬† If even with all of that, they feel the¬†risk in the forests is too great right now, why is NS “not” closing the forests during peak periods of heat and drought?

By the way, I urge people to listen to these segments when they are¬†posted.¬† I have asked why some of the segments aren’t been posted to¬†listen to later and it’s because not enough people are listening to¬†them.¬† They choose one or two segments per day to put up online for¬†later listening and if no one is listening to the forestry related¬†ones, they won’t be posted — so do try to listen in.


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