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Protected Bird Shuts Down High School Lacrosse & Football Field

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - The Rio Americano High School Raiders lacrosse team is battling through the end of the season and its toughest opponent yet: a mother bird and her four eggs.

"It's like finally we get this field and it's all bright and this one tiny bird comes along," said Geoff Shumway, his son plays on the team.

Parents and players alike hoped to have the last home game on this brand new field.

"I'm going to be a senior next year, so I wanted to be able to get maybe one game in my junior year," Aedan Shumway said.

Just days before the gates were open a bird known as a killdeer flew in and made a nest.

"Unfortunately they often pick not the greatest spots," said JD Bergeron a bird enthusiast.

He said the killdeer are protected by a 101-year-old treaty.

"Once upon a time we killed them for their feathers and hats and things and it created a lot of damage was done," he said.

This type of bird usually nests in grassland areas, so the American River Parkway is perfect, but somehow she got confused and flew over the levee to this field to nest in artificial turf.

The protected bird is now literally protected not only by its mate but by an 80-foot perimeter for the next two weeks at least.

"It's going to be really excited open in the field for the kids that really deserves a great place to play," Keith Reid said, a San Juan Unified Spokesperson.

The district hopes the birds will fly away soon and some students say they had better

"Probably should like get out by football season unless it brings like his whole family, then...we would have problems," said Freshman football player Tavis Turn said.

And for now using it as a learning lesson to live harmoniously with nature.

"We're going to get the field sometime, so it's all going to end OK in the future," said freshman Michael Campbell.

The bird is expected to nest between four to five weeks. She has been there for two weeks already.

The lacrosse game on April 9 will be played on their old field.

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