After garnering more than 36,000 votes, the city of Calgary has announced which bird will officially represent the city — the black-capped tit.
The little bird came in first of the five birds, with a healthy 44 percent of the vote.
The black-billed finch came in second with 24 percent of the vote, the northern flicker came in third, the blue jay in fourth, and the red-breasted nuthatch in fifth.
At the announcement Saturday on a bluff overlooking the Weaselhead Natural Area in southwest Calgary, Coun. Kourtney Penner (who claimed she was team tit all the time) said the bird mood got more feedback than the Olympics.
“I think no matter who the winner was, we saw Calgarians really take a moment to stop and appreciate the wildlife in the city, appreciate some of the birds. We saw some great engagement with this,” she said.
“I know the magpie was heavily contested and there were a lot of people who said the magpie is the bird we really deserve, and the tit is the bird we aspire to, but I’ll say I think the Calgarians will to be.” [ok with] the voice.”
In 2021, Calgary became one of the first cities in the country to be certified bird-friendly by Nature Canada.
The city teamed up with Bird Friendly Calgary and Nature Canada to host the April Bird Vote to promote this certification.
Phew, what a lively scrum! Calgary has chosen….
Reporter: What do you have to say about being selected as the official bird of #yyc†
Chickadee: chick-a-dee-dee-dee pic.twitter.com /7LfhbJaHwc
Bird Friendly Calgary said they have reached out to all Treaty 7 countries, Metis Region 3 and bird groups to select the five birds that have been voted on.
John McFaul, chairman of the Bird Friendly Calgary team, said the city’s statutes, such as those regarding lighting issues, make the city better for birds.
“I think we’re not doing too badly overall, because what’s really great about Calgary is that we have a lot of beautiful natural areas that provide a home for these birds.”
According to the city, North America has lost about three billion birds in the last 50 years due to a number of threats.
Corinne Eagletail-Frazier, a council member for the Tsuut’ina Nation, said birds are valuable to many First Nations.
“We see them as messengers and healers,” she said.
Eagletail-Frazier was surprised by how much engagement the vote got.
“I didn’t realize how much interest and respect there was for the birds. It was an honor to be part of the initiative.”
Penner hopes the bird vote will draw attention to the need to protect the approximately 200 species of birds in Calgary.
“It is important to protect the diversity of nature reserves in our city.”
The black-capped chickadee will be recognized as Calgary’s official bird at the June 7 city council meeting.