Yukon Weekly

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

The official bird of Calgary is the black-capped chickadee

Calgary's official bird, the black-capped chickadee, soars high.

Key Takeaways:

  • With 44 percent of the vote after 2 months of voting, the black-capped chickadee was declared the winner.
  • With 17 percent of the vote, the northern flicker came in third, followed by the blue jay with 8% and the red-breasted nuthatch with 7%.
  • The statement was made on Saturday from the Weaselhead Natural Area of the Tsuu T’ina Nation.

The verdict is in, and Calgary has a new official bird.

After two months of voting, the black-capped chickadee emerged victorious with 44% of the vote.

The chickadee’s closest competitor, the black-billed magpie, received only 24% of the vote.

Ward 11 Coun. Kourtney Penner stated, “I know the magpie was hotly debated, and there were a lot of individuals who felt the magpie is the bird we deserve, and the chickadee is the bird we aspire to.”

“It’s critical to be able to advocate including all bird species in Calgary, regardless of who wins.”

The northern flicker took third place with 17% of the vote, followed by the blue jay with 8% and the red-breasted nuthatch with 7%.

Also read: Dallas Stars defeat the Calgary Flames 4-2 to force a 7 game in the playoff series

Calgarians voted a total of 36,677 times from March 30 and May 1.

“I was hoping for maybe 5,000 people,” said John McFaul, chair of Bird Friendly Calgary. “It simply reflects Calgarians’ curiosity in what is happening in their natural spaces and backyards.”

Bird-Friendly Calgary, a network of volunteers and nature groups in the city, came up with the idea to organize a vote.

Nature Canada classified Calgary as a bird-friendly city last year, and one of the prerequisites for maintaining that designation was that the city name an official bird.

In March, Penner presented a notice of motion to a city committee to begin the process, which she believes is necessary to raise awareness of the city’s biodiversity.

“Birds are extremely important in the biodiversity scheme, and I believe it says volumes about the natural spaces we have here in Calgary, the various kind of terrain we have, and the various types of birds that settle across it, and how essential it is to conserve that diversity.”

Nature Cornell University researchers found that bird populations in North America have decreased by up to three billion in the last 50 years, prompting Canada’s project of bird-friendly communities.

Bird-Friendly Calgary aims to raise awareness of the challenges that our feathered friends experience in an urban environment, as well as provide ideas on how to make your backyard an “oasis” for local bird populations.

Calgary's official bird, the black-capped chickadee, soars high.
Calgary’s official bird, the black-capped chickadee, soars high. Image from CBC News

“We’re working on information on types of vegetation that would make a garden more bird-friendly,” said Roland Dechesne, a member of Bird Friendly Calgary. “We’re working about how to utilize light at night as part of this whole process of creating your backyard a mini oasis for biodiversity.”

Following a call for nominations as well as consultations with Indigenous groups, the five finalists were chosen.

On Saturday, the declaration was made from the edge of the Tsuu T’ina Nation’s Weaselhead Natural Area.

Tsuu T’ina Nation councilor Corrine Eagletail-Frazier stated, “I think it’s vital to have the wildlife active and thriving here, and it’s due to a lot of the changes that have transpired with the road passing through.” “I believe it is critical because natural law is being restored to the ecosystem.”

When the Calgary city council meets on June 7, the chickadee will be named the city’s official bird.

Source: Global News

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