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:,” <>


This entry was posted in General Information. Bookmark the permalink.