Soccer field in Teaneck shut down due to tiny bird and its eggs

TEANECK, New Jersey (WABC) -- A busy soccer field in New Jersey has been shut down, all because of one tiny bird and its nest filled with eggs.

The bird, a protected species, set up home near the south goal and local officials can't move the nest without a permit, so they suspended play.

A female killdeer, along with her male partner, made the nest and laid her eggs on an artificial turf field in Teaneck's Votee Park.

Township workers taped off the area so curious onlookers didn't get too close.

"I'm looking forward to the news tonight so I can really get a view of it...a close up look, yes," said a Teaneck resident named Bob.

The birds are cute but they're also protected. Township leaders need permission to pick up the barely visible nest and relocate it, and that will take time.

"To get a permit from the DEP and the federal government was 30 to 60 days which was the incubation period, so the best thing was just to leave it," said Ken Hoffman of Teaneck Parks and Recreation.

The nest has been there for about two weeks already and it'll stay right there for another month or so, until the eggs hatch and the chicks leave.

Until then, the soccer teams and others who use the field will have to find another place to practice and play.

"It really wasn't much of an inconvenience, it was a lot of administrative phone calling in order to find other fields," said Hoffman.

"My buddy Chase plays with his brother here on the soccer field, but I guess they're not going to be able to play anytime soon," said Teaneck resident Jeff Apollo.

The killdeer gets its name from its distinctive call. Thanks to the cooperation of the people of Teaneck, the killdeer hasn't become a killjoy.

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