What is Canada’s National Bird?


Stellar's Jay-British Columbia's provincial bird

Stellar’s Jay-British Columbia’s provincial bird

There seems to be some controversy about Canada’s National bird, in fact we don’t have one. Oddly enough Canada has not named its National bird, at the time of this writing there are several nominations for that distinction including: Canada Goose, Common Loon, Red Tailed Hawk, Grey Jay and Tundra Swan

In the very near future, this could all change according to the Canadian Raptor Conservancy which has been lobbying Members of Parliament and the federal government. To date they have collected over 200,000 signatures and over 3,000 suggestions. One of the criteria that has been put forth is that we should not allow a bird species that has already been chosen as a Canadian provincial bird or another country’s National bird.

Following are the official birds of Canada’s provinces and territories: British Columbia-Steller’s jay, Alberta-Great Horned Owl, Saskatchewan-Sharp Tailed Grouse, Manitoba-Great Grey Owl, Ontario-Common Loon, Quebec-Snowy Owl,  New Brunswick-Black Capped Chickadee, Nova Scotia-Osprey, Prince Edward Island-Blue jay, Newfoundland-Atlantic Puffin, Northwest Territories-Gyrfalcon, Nunavut- Rock Ptarmigan and Yukon-Raven.

In 1986 the Canadian Mint released a series of currency featuring birds which were: $2 American Robin, $5 Belted Kingfisher, $10 Osprey, $20 Common Loon, $50 Snowy Owl, $100 Canada Goose and $1,000 Pine Grosbeak. In 1987 the $1 coin showing a Common Loon was introduced to replace the $1 note, it quickly became known as the “Loonie”

If you would like to learn more and submit your petition go to: Canadian Raptor Conservancy.

About Greg Byron

Greg Byron, orginally from Montreal, now resides in the South Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Canada’s only desert. He operates an Ecotourism business, Great Horned Owl Eco Tours, www.okanaganecotours.com and focusses on bird watching and nature adventure tours. In order to deliver unique and experiential tours greg has have become very driven to understand all of the plants and animals which reside in the Okanagan along with Natural History, geology and issues surrounding water sustainability and climate change. Another gem about the Okanagan that isn’t too well known is bird watching; with over 300 species the Okanagan is one of the premiere bird watching areas in all of Canada. As an avid birdwatcher, when guests go on his bird watching tour one of his goals is to find for them a “Life Bird”. In Greg’s backyard can be found 10% of Canada’s endangered species including: Williamson’s Sapsuckers, Lark Sparrows, White Headed Woodpeckers, Yellow Breasted Chats and Western Screech Owls. Check out my photostream on Flickr

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