At the beginning of the month, we released an article which highlighted each and every provincially recognized bird across Canada, helping fellow birders identify what species are recognized in their home province. It has long been debated whether or not Canada should have a nationally recognized bird and more importantly, which bird that should be. As vast and diverse as Canada is, it can be a difficult task to really identify which specific species identifies with all Canadians and our beautiful terrain.

While many organizations have attempted this feat in the past, The Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS) and Canadian Geographic have teamed up in an attempt to tackle this task once again. One of Canada’s oldest and largest educational, non-profit organizations, the RCGS was founded in 1929 and continues to lead the charge toward fostering a deeper appreciation of Canada’s natural, cultural and social heritage. The RCGS has over time, developed respected publications such as Canadian Geographic, Geographica and Canadian Geographic Travel.

 

In the January/February 2015 issue of Canadian Geographic, Editor Aaron Kylie pointed out that Canada has a recognized arboreal emblem in the maple tree, a national horse in the Canadian, two national sports in lacrosse and hockey and a recognized animal in the beaver. While Canada is home to 450 avian species, he, and others were surprised that we still have yet to name an official national bird.

In lieu of this, his team at Canadian Geographic has launched the National Bird Project in an attempt to get this debate settled once and for all and to finally recognize a bird, chosen by the people, to represent Canada.

They have created an easy-to-use and informative webpage as part of the Canadian Geographic website, allowing users to review possible choices and easily cast their votes. The voting is separated in categories to aid in easy selection and is broken down by songbirds, upland and game birds, wading birds, gulls and shorebirds, woodpeckers and hummingbirds, loons, waterfowl and seabirds and lastly, raptors.

As of the time of this publication the top three choices thus far are:

1) The Common Loon

2) Snowy Owl

3) Gray Jack/Whiskey Jack

 

To cast your vote visit the National Bird Project website and be a part of what we hope to be Canadian history!