Canadian Geographic says it’s time Canada had a bird to call its own.
Editor Aaron Kylie pointed out in the January/February 2015 issue, this country has a national arboreal emblem (the maple tree), a national horse (the Canadian), two national sports (lacrosse and hockey) and an animal (the beaver) that is a national symbol. But in nearly 150 years as a nation — and despite the fact that 450 avian species have habitat in Canada — an official national bird has never been named.
To that end, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and Canadian Geographic have created the National Bird Project, to give Canadians the opportunity to vote for a species they believe would best represent them and their land (and skies).
This is not the first time a Canadian organization has launched an initiative of this sort (the Canadian Raptor Conservancy has an online petition, by which you can suggest a species for national bird), but the aim of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and Canadian Geographic project is to reignite the discussion, by featuring a number of reader-submitted essays as well as fresh national bird tournament-related content in future issues of the magazine. Authors Will Ferguson, Charlotte Gray, Alissa York and Noah Richler have already started the project off with their strong cases for the Canada goose, osprey, great gray owl and common raven.
Or should it be the common loon, with the iconic call that echoes across bodies of water Canada-wide?
This fowl is already Ontario’s provincial bird, but should that stop it from representing the nation? (Its likeness is, after all, already struck on our dollar coin.)
Or maybe it could be the gray jay, also known as the whiskey jack or the Canada jay, with a range as pan-Canadian as the boreal forest that it inhabits.
If your heart is set on nominating a species that doesn’t appear in the initial 40 picks, you can submit your suggestion.
Remember, the winner will be proclaimed in Canadian Geographic’s next annual wildlife issue, and it will then be promoted to be made official in time for the country’s big 150th bash on July 1, 2017.
So cast your votes, and let’s get Canada a national bird.
Go to: http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/nationalbird/