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Trans Mountain ordered to delay pipeline construction in B.C. bird nesting area

Last Updated Apr 26, 2021 at 12:50 pm MDT

Construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline is seen under way in Kamloops, B.C., Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

VANCOUVER — Environment and Climate Change Canada has ordered a halt to construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline through a forest in Burnaby, B.C., until the end of bird nesting season.

The department says the order was issued following an enforcement officer’s visit to the site prompted by complaints that nests of the Anna’s hummingbird and other migratory birds were being damaged.

It says cutting trees, using bulldozers, chainsaws or other heavy machinery in the area, will likely result in the disturbance or destruction of nests and it must stop until Aug. 20.

Trans Mountain confirmed that the order applied to a 900-metre area in the Brunette River for the duration of the nesting period.

Anna’s hummingbirds and other bird species found in the area, such as song sparrows, pine siskins, robins and black-capped chickadees, are protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act.

Trans Mountain says in a statement that while the company “endeavours to conduct tree clearing” activities outside of the migratory bird nesting periods, that is not always feasible.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 26, 2021.

The Canadian Press