Did you know that Canada does not yet have an official national bird? The United States has the Bald Eagle, and every Canadian province and territory has its own emblem bird. The Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS) decided that the country’s 150th anniversary in 2017 would be the perfect time to choose a bird to join our other national symbols, the beaver and the maple leaf.
To help make this important decision, the RCGS and Canadian Geographic started The National Bird Project and are inviting Canadians to vote for the species they think should become Canada’s bird.
There are 40 bird species on the list of candidates. The current top three contenders are the Common Loon, the Snowy Owl and the Gray Jay.
Common Loon (Gavia immer)
Ontario’s official bird, the Common Loon is found all over Canada during the breeding season. Their eerie call is for many the embodiment of the Canadian wilderness. The Loon’s supporters see it as representing a love of Canada’s natural environment. It is also already present on our dollar coin. Read more …
Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus)
Quebec’s official bird, the Snowy Owl lives and breeds in the Arctic both in America and Eurasia. Found only in Quebec and the Territories in the summer, in the winter it can be seen all across Canada and northern United States. To its supporters, the Snowy Owl represents our northern white country. Read more …
Gray Jay (Perisoreus canadensis)
Also called the Whiskey Jack, this social bird already has Canada in its French and Latin names. In the same family as the crows, it shares their incredible intelligence and inquisitive behaviour. The Gray Jay calls the Boreal forest home year-round and 80% of its entire population is found in Canada. To its supporters, this bird is a perfect representation of the people of this country: cold-hardy, friendly and quiet yet inquisitive. Read more …
For more information on all the contenders and to cast your vote, visit the National Bird Project website