Vancouver City Bird Competition and Bird Week

Black-capped Chickadee | Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC | March 2014

Black-capped Chickadee | Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC | March 2014

The past few weeks have been quite busy with respect to birds in the greater Vancouver area, but not simply because they are returning in droves. In order to draw more attention to the importance of birds, the City of Vancouver organized its first public City Bird competition and its second Bird Week. Both events culminated on May 10th with the International Migratory Bird Day.

Last year, the Northwestern Crow was chosen as Vancouver’s City Bird by a committee. This year, an actual “election” was held and featured six bird species running against each other for over four weeks, until the online “polls” closed at 7pm on May 10th. Six species vied for first place – the species that won the competition, with 277,924 votes, was the Black-capped Chickadee! If I’m not mistaken, that is more votes than the actual mayor of the city received in the last election (in all fairness, though, it seems certain people voted more than once than once in this particular election.

I have heard rumours that people in other cities in Canada are quite jealous of this competition… I would strongly urge you to encourage your municipal politicians to copy Vancouver, since this is a fun event that can also draw attention to the important role of birds and the environment in the overall health of a city.

And now, I will let the birds do the “talking” by showing you photos of the other five candidates (in alphabetical order):


Anna’s Hummingbird | UBC (Point Grey campus) | January 2014


Northern Flicker | Whytecliff Park, West Vancouver, BC | April 2014


Pacific Wren | UBC (Point Grey campus) | March 2014


Pileated Woodpecker (male) | Whytecliff Park, West Vancouver, BC | May 2012


Varied Thrush | UBC (Point Grey campus) | February 2014

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