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Celebrate our Fine-Feathered Friends at Vancouver Bird Week 2017

May 2 2017

“Vancouver has an extensive variety of local birds and is also located on one of the world’s major migratory pathways,” said Park Board Chair Michael Wiebe.

Whether you are an amateur ornithologist or a sophisticated bird nerd, there is something for everyone in the annual Vancouver Bird Week celebration of the beauty, diversity and ecological importance of Vancouver’s bird population. 

Vancouver Bird Week, running from May 6 to 13 presents more than three dozen activities designed by a passionate partnership of civic officials, non-profit organizations, artists and ornithologists. 

“Vancouver has an extensive variety of local birds and is also located on one of the world’s major migratory pathways,” said Park Board Chair Michael Wiebe. "We know that thriving green spaces mean thriving bird populations, and we are delighted to host Bird Week events in many of our parks."  

Birds at the Shore

This year, Bird Week will be highlighting shore birds. Our coastline has a high diversity of waterfowl and is home to two globally significant populations of overwintering ducks. The Pacific Great Blue Heron colony in Stanley Park (as seen on Park Board Heron Cam) is critical habitat for this species at risk and a magnet for local and visiting bird lovers.
 
“Interest in Vancouver as a destination is growing among residents and international birders who will flock here for the International Ornithological Congress in 2018,” says Dr. Rob Butler, Chair of the Vancouver International Bird Festival. “The congress will be a huge boom to the local economy and generate new opportunities for tourism, conservation and understanding between cultures.” 

Bird Week events

There are plenty of free or low-cost events for birders of all ages at the upcoming Vancouver Bird Week including: 

View all 2017 Vancouver Bird Week events

Meet City Bird Candidates

Bird Week coincides with the City Bird campaign, where four bird candidates – Anna’s Hummingbird, Northern Flicker, Spotted Towhee and the Varied Thrush – vie for the coveted title of permanent City Bird. The winner will be crowned after a three-week campaign. Vote online or in civic facilities by May 14.

Curious citizens can chat with each bird via the City of Vancouver’s Facebook Messenger. All humans are invited to meet the candidates at Bird Week events, including the Bird Week launch, Birds! Birds! Birds! workshops at the Roundhouse, Hillcrest, Renfrew and Trout Lake community centres, and the Bird Week finale.

Vote for the permanent City Bird

Protecting birds in Vancouver

Vancouver Bird Week is organized by the Vancouver Bird Advisory Committee, as supported by the Vancouver Park Board and City of Vancouver. Bird Week supports the Biodiversity Strategy and the Vancouver’s Bird Strategy which aims to create the conditions for native birds to thrive in the city including bird-friendly building guidelines and by protecting vital habitat in the urban environment.

Studies have found that habitat loss has caused a 35-per-cent decline in bird species along the Pacific Coast in the last half century. Most of this loss is directly related to development and the loss of original forest cover. When researchers mapped the “birding hot spots” in Vancouver, they found all the primary locations sat right on top of parks. Not surprisingly, birds are drawn to green spaces.

Vancouver Bird Week was inspired by World Migratory Bird Day, a United Nations-sponsored initiative that recognizes the importance of birds as key indicators of our environment’s health.