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Bird Friendly Calgary

In 2021, Calgary became one of Canada’s first certified Nature Canada Bird Friendly Cities, along with Vancouver, Toronto and London. Bird Friendly Certification aims to highlight and mitigate threats that have contributed to the loss of an estimated 3 billion birds on the landscape over the last 50 years.

Our official bird vote brought in almost 37000 votes and thousands of comments on how to make Calgary more Bird Friendly! On May 14, World Migratory Bird Day we made the official announcement of the winner:

the Black-capped Chickadee! 

Thank you Calgary for participating and tune in June 7 as the Black-capped Chickadee is set to be officially adopted as the City Bird by City council. 

Black-capped chickadee_Dan Arndt.jpg

Photo credit: Dan Arndt

Black-capped Chickadee

Chickadees are excellent insect and spider control, particularly during nesting. In the short time it takes to get chicks out of the nest (about 3 weeks), chickadees will need between 5000-9000 insects to feed their brood!

Black-capped Chickadees received 16127 votes (44%) 

Black-billed magpie_Dan Arndt.jpg

Photo credit: Dan Arndt

Black-billed magpie

One of the most recognizable birds, Magpies are intelligent, social members of the corvid family. Magpies have been shown to recognize faces and have been known to bring gifts to those who are kind to them. 

Black-billed Magpies received 8937 votes (24%) 

Northern flicker_Dan Arndt.jpg

Photo credit: Dan Arndt

Flickers are members of the woodpecker family but unlike other woodpeckers, flickers are often found on the ground eating since ants are their favorite They create cavities in trees for nesting which can be used by other animals.

Northern Flickers received 6079 votes (17%)

Red-breasted nuthatch_Dan Arndt.jpg

Photo credit: Dan Arndt

red-breasted nuthatch

Red-breasted nuthatches are small but mighty. During nesting season they can be seen chasing off larger birds, aggressively defending their territory. They are excellent spruce budworm control!

Red-breasted Nuthatches received 2616 votes (7%)

Blue Jay_2_Dan Arndt.jpg

Photo credit: Dan Arndt

blue jay

With a strong connection to oak forests, blue jays did not historically live in Alberta. Over the last 40 years sightings have increased and blue jays can now be seen breeding and living year-round in the province.

Blue Jays received 2941 votes (8%)

Northern flicker

How Many People Voted? 

Wow Calgary! 36700 votes came in between April 29 and May 1 making the Official Bird Vote one of the highest engagement turnouts ever! 

And the winner is...

The Black-capped Chickadee! With 44% of the vote, the Black-capped Chickadee is now Calgary's Official Bird! 

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S. Jordan-McLachlan

HOW YOU CAN HELP

There are many small actions that you can take to become more bird friendly!