Birds die after being trapped in Parks Canada's Beaubassin pavilion

Parks Canada to install anti-collision film at new interpretive park

Published on August 29, 2017

Two of the five dead birds found by Lisa Davison in the pavilion at the former Acadian village of Beaubassin near Fort Lawrence. Shadows of the bird decals can be found on the right.


FORT LAWRENCE, N.S. - Lisa Davison was visiting the Beaubassin view park on Saturday when she came across a disturbing sight.

Inside the pavilion, a wooden structure surrounded by clear acrylic plastic and covered with a roof, were five dead birds.
“The closer I walked to it, the more I realized that I could see dead birds inside the structure,” said Davison. “I really don’t like seeing that, it’s so unnecessary.”
She believes that the birds must have entered through opening spaces to perch on the rafters and then became confused on how to get back out, dying either from exhaustion or hitting the surrounding acrylic plastic, which had bird decals taped to it.
Parks Canada says that specialty films are going to be installed this week to further prevent birds from colliding with the panels. They are opaque from the outside and mostly transparent from inside, still allowing viewers to look at the landscape.
“We are concerned with the bird collisions that have occurred and we are taking measures to prevent future issues,” said Parks Canada in an email. “Canada’s national parks must integrate environmental protection with visitor experiences.”
Parks Canada says that the bird decals were meant to deter the birds but they were not effective, and that staff are monitoring the situation.
Davison is a self-professed “bird nerd” and loves nature. She believes that some of the birds were starlings but wasn’t certain.
“It just seems so cruel when you get inside of it and you realize that the birds are in there and they can’t figure a way out,” said Davison. “Because they’re not looking an exit like we are.”
The deceased birds disappeared on Sunday; whether they were removed by a person or wildlife was unclear. Davison says that she reached out to Cumberland-Colchester MP Bill Casey, who informed Parks Canada of the issue.
The Beaubassin and Fort Lawrence National Historic Sites are located near the Nova Scotia Visitor Information Centre, in an area highly populated by migratory birds.
The park anticipates that the view park will open in September. No date has been confirmed yet.

The Beaubassin view-park pictured from a month ago. The pavilion is surrounded by plexiglass covered in bird decals but has some openings above, below and in part of the side.

©Chelsey Gould - Amherst News