Despite the barrage of untimely celebrity deaths, 2016 was a fantastic year in the birding world and one that was full of surprises and interesting stories. Ranging from displaced visitors to conservation projects, 2016 was full of interesting headlines, both organically for us at Gilligallou and for birds around the globe.
With 2017 officially upon us, join us as we recap a few stories that caught our attention in 2016 and a couple that helped change us as birders and as a growing organization. With that in mind, we would like to thank each and every one of you who have supported us, not only in 2016, but in the past five years!
Speaking personally, 2016 was huge for us. A year filled with excitement, change and a hint of anxiousness! In the summer of 2016 we officially launched our second location here in the Greater Ottawa Area on Preston St in Ottawa’s Little Italy neighborhood.
While continuing to operate our flagship store in Almonte, we were blessed to have the support of the community and our dedicated staff while we prepared the Preston location. Our opening was met with fantastic support as we saw many familiar faces head through our newly-minted location as well as a flock of new birding faces.
Canada Names National Bird
A project that was nearly two years in the making came down to a final vote in 2016 and the long-awaited crowning of Canada’s National Bird took place. Kicking off in January 2015, the National Bird Project opened to voting, allowing Canadians to voice their opinion on which avian species should best represent our country. The final selection was officially unveiled after narrowing down the choices to five potential candidates. At the Royal Canadian Geographic Society’s College of Fellows Annual Dinner in mid-November, it was announced that the Gray Jay/Whiskey Jack was officially the bird of Canada.
The Longest Migration
Although this took place across the pond, the longest migration officially observed by scientists was recorded during 2016. An Arctic Tern covered a whopping 96,000km from the Farne Islands to the Weddell Sea with a fitted geo-locator in tow. Previously, another Arctic Tern held the longest migration record by travelling 91,000km.
The Migratory Bird Treaty Celebrates 100 Years
A century ago Canada, Great Britain and the United States drafted a historical piece of legislation after the bulk of our continents migratory birds were in peril. After excessive trading, hunting and habitat destruction many species of migratory birds, including songbirds, were threatened or nearing extirpation. The treaty is perhaps the single biggest driving factor behind the comeback of the majority of migrating birds here in North America.