SOURCE: Canadian Geographic Magazine

Canadian Geographic Magazine

January 26, 2015 14:40 ET

Vote for Canada's Official National Bird!

OTTAWA, ON--(Marketwired - January 26, 2015) - The Americans have the bald eagle. The French have the Gallic rooster. For some reason Canada does not have an official national bird. Hopefully, this is about to change. Canadian Geographic magazine has launched the National Bird Project to give every Canadian a chance to vote for a bird worthy of being our national avian emblem -- and submit essays on a bird or to suggest birds that haven't made the magazine's ornithologist-guided top-40 list. The goal is to help declare a national bird by the time Canada turns 150 in 2017.

"We're inviting all Canadians to go to our dedicated website, nationalbird.cangeo.ca, to vote for a species they believe would best represent them and their land -- and skies," says Gilles Gagnier, Publisher of Canadian Geographic adding, "We just launched this on January 5, and more than 10,000 Canadians have voted, and posted over a thousand comments and essays on our site. The response has been amazing."

The National Bird website provides everything you need to know about the project and the 40 top bird contenders in the race. Each bird's profile includes information on their habitat, as well as range maps that show year-round habitat, breeding habitat, migration ranges and wintering habitat. Many voters have insisted that our national bird should be one that stays in Canada all year round, which bodes well for species such as the gray jay, chickadee or snowy owl. Of course, that would rule out the loon, Canada goose and tundra swan, among others.

Canadians have months to cast their vote before the results and feedback will be passed along to our parliamentarians. It gives our government representatives plenty of time to designate a bird officially and prepare an announcement as part of Canada's sesquicentennial celebrations in 2017. In the meantime, we're encouraging every Canadian to learn about our native birds and get out and vote. Just like in every election, numbers count.

The National Bird Project further supports Canadian Geographic's longstanding commitment to covering Canada's wildlife and its habitats, and with widespread participation and help from organizations such as Bird Studies Canada, we believe this project meets this goal and could have long-lasting impacts. Birds are incredibly important as barometers of the health of ecosystems and our natural environment. Birds seem to connect us to nature in ways that few other creatures can. Canadian Geographic hopes to use the National Bird Project as a springboard for all sorts of greater discussions about species, habitat and conservation.

Canadian Geographic in English and Géographica in French, are published by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and highlight the latest geographic news and trends. Canadian Geographic has featured award-winning journalism focused on our cultural and natural heritage since it was founded in 1930.

Contact Information

  • For more information, please contact:
    Deborah Chapman
    Communications Manager 
    Royal Canadian Geographical Society
    O (613) 613-745-4629 ext. 160
    C (613) 299-8995
    Email: chapman@rcgs.org