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Black-capped Chickadee flies high as Calgary’s official bird – Calgary

The results are in and Calgary now has an official bird.

Collecting 44% of the votes, the black-capped chickadee won after two months of voting.

The black-billed magpie was the closest competitor to the chickadee, obtaining only 24% of the votes.

“I know the magpie was fiercely contested and there were a lot of people who said the magpie is the bird we really deserve and the chickadee is the bird we yearn for,” Ward 11 Coun said. said Kourtney Penner.

“No matter who won, it’s really important to be able to advocate for all bird species in Calgary.”

As for the other birds in the running, the northern flicker came third with 17% of the votes, followed by the blue jay with 8% of the votes cast and the red-breasted nuthatch which completes the group with 7%. .

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Overall, there were 36,677 votes cast by Calgarians between March 30 and May 1.

“I was expecting maybe 5,000 people, if we were lucky,” Bird Friendly Calgary president John McFaul said. “It just reflects the fact that Calgarians care about what’s happening in their natural areas and in their backyards.

The idea to hold a vote came from Bird Friendly Calgary, a group of volunteers and environmental groups in the city.

Last year, Calgary was certified as a bird-friendly city by Nature Canada, and one of the requirements to maintain that certification was for the city to appoint an official bird.

Penner presented a notice of motion to a city committee in March to start the process, a notice she says is important for raising awareness of the city’s biodiversity.

“Birds are really important in the biodiversity program and I think that says a lot about the natural spaces we have here in Calgary; the different types of terrain we have and the different types of birds that call it home, and how important it is to protect that diversity.

Nature Canada’s Bird Friendly Cities initiative was prompted by research from Cornell University that showed bird populations in North America have declined by up to three billion over the past 50 years.

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Bird Friendly Calgary hopes to encourage Calgarians to be more aware of the issues our fine-feathered friends face in an urban environment, with tips for making your backyard an “oasis” for local bird populations.

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Calgarians take one step closer to choosing official city bird

“We’re working on information on what types of plantings would make a garden more bird friendly, we’re working on how to use light at night as part of this whole process of making your garden a little oasis for biodiversity,” Roland said. Dechesne, member of Bird Friendly Calgary.

The five birds in the running were selected after a call for nominations and consultations with indigenous groups.

Saturday’s announcement took place overlooking the Weaselhead Natural Area, on the borders of the Tsuu T’ina Nation.

“I think it’s so important for wildlife to be active and thriving here and that’s because of a lot of the changes that have happened with the road,” Tsuu T’ina Nation Councilor Corrine Eagletail-Frazier said. . “I think it’s really important just because natural law is brought back into the environment.”

Calgary city councilors will name Calgary’s official bird tit at their June 7 meeting.

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