Tuesday, January 27, 2015

You can pick Canada's National Bird!





If you haven't heard, Canadian Geographic is running a contest to "pick" our national bird... I'm not going to post the link, because I'm pretty sure we've been through this (as Canadians) several times now... As of right now, these are the top five:


Common Loon
Snowy Owl
Gray Jay
Canada Goose
Black-capped Chickadee


With a resounding 11,000ish votes cast, I'm sure the remaining 35 million Canadian's will be happy with Canadian Geographic's (and their readers) selection... I could rant that most Canadian's could hardly name 5 species of birds, but this is not the time or the place!

In the past, I seem to remember something about our former (Ontario) premier backing the Red-tailed Hawk, which is doing quite poorly by Canadian Geographic standards... Speaking of Red-tailed Hawk, this article states that it was also one of the most popular choices in a poll conducted by the Canadian Raptor Conservancy? I had to check out the CRC website where I discovered their support for the Red-tailed Hawk. The endeavour when from funny to hilarious when they listed the Canada Goose as one of Canada's "animals"... I mean, I understand they mainly deal with raptors... But this is bad.. The quote is here:

"We have national products like maple syrup, we have national sports like ice hockey and lacrosse, we have animals such as the beaver, the moose, the caribou, the polar bear, the grizzly bear, the Canada goose, and the Canada lynx, but we do not have a national bird. "
- Canadian Raptor Conservancy 

Despite my attempts to poke fun at these various polls and petitions, a major problem remains. We do not have a formally recognized national bird! As a birder, this is appalling. As a Canadian - well - I'm a very proud Canadian, but my rank as birder pretty much trumps everything else... I guess I got ahead of myself...

Let's solve this issue right here and now!

Our national bird IS the Common Loon... Gavia immer... You can "Great Northern Diver" me all you want, but in North America, it's the Common Loon - and it's the National bird of Canada! Regardless of any formal recognition. (I'm not sure what wikipedia is thinkin)...




They're big
They're bad
They look awesome
They sound awesome
Their range covers a huge swath of Canada
They're easily recognizable
We associate them with our wild places and happy (summer) memories
They appear on our $1 coin (loonie!)

Our national bird - DONE! I know we have some issues, such as the Common Loon being the provincial bird of Ontario, and possibly even some other national or official bird somewhere else. But I don't think we should care. It is our one and only choice...

If (by some fluke chance) we select anything BUT the Common Loon, be ready for these future petitions:


Petition to replace _____ with the Common Loon as our national bird

or

Petition to annex the Common Loon from Ontario, to become the national bird... Which of course would be followed up with a petition/vote on what Ontario's new provincial bird should be. Heck, I'll start it now (just in case).

Peregrine Falcon
Great Blue Heron
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Eastern Bluebird
Northern Cardinal




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