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Vancouver aims to become world leader for birds

January 21 2015

City Bird 2015: Black-capped Chickadee

The City’s newly-adopted bird strategy plans to make Vancouver a major hub in the $36-billion North American birding industry by supporting a rich and diverse environment for the 250 species of resident, migratory, and over-wintering birds regularly observed in the Lower Mainland.

Bird strategy brings benefits to the city

The Vancouver Bird Strategy will bring important social, environmental, and economic benefits to the city, by aiming to make Vancouver the world’s top urban centre for bird tourism.

Bird watching is one of the fastest-growing leisure activities in North America. Vancouver was recently selected to host the 27th International Ornithological Congress in 2018, the premier event for bird scientists around the world.

About the Vancouver Bird Strategy

Five objectives we're working on

The Vancouver Bird Strategy aims to:

  1. Support habitat by protecting, enhancing, and creating habitats for a diversity of native birds.
  2. Reduce threats to birds in the urban environment.
  3. Enhance access to nature for Vancouver residents and visitors to the city needs.
  4. Enhance awareness of the importance of birds and their needs.
  5. Grow bird related tourism by encourage birding tourism and economic development opportunities related to birding.

Guidelines for designing your buildings and green spaces

The strategy includes voluntary bird-friendly building- and landscape design guidelines for:

  • Developers
  • Planners
  • Designers
  • Public and private land owners

The guidelines were developed in consultation with the:

  • Urban Development Institute
  • Building Owners and Managers Association
  • BC Society of Landscape Architects
  • Architectural Institute of BC

Our partners

The strategy was developed by the City in partnership with the following organizations on the Vancouver Bird Advisory Committee:

  • Bird Studies Canada
  • Environment Canada
  • Nature Vancouver
  • Pacific Wildlife Foundation
  • Stanley Park Ecology Society
  • Tourism Vancouver
  • UBC Greenest City Scholar

Strategy supports City initiatives

The Vancouver Bird Strategy supports and aligns with our:

  • Greenest City Action Plan
  • Urban Tree Strategy
  • Metro Vancouver Regional Biodiversity Strategy
  • Vancouver Park Board Strategic Plan

How we celebrate birds

Vancouver is already a leader in Canada when it comes to celebrating birds. Last year, the City celebrated its:

  • Fourth World Migratory Bird Day
  • Second annual Bird Week

Bird Week included the successful City Bird competition, which saw over 700,000 votes cast and the Black-capped Chickadee taking title of City Bird 2015. The competition for City Bird 2016 will be held again this year during Bird Week in May.  

How we are working to have native birds thrive in Vancouver

Red-winged blackbird

Vancouver Bird Strategy

The Vancouver Bird Strategy works to create conditions for native birds to thrive in Vancouver.

Learn about our goal to provide you with access to nature

Couple standing next to small lake in Vancouver.

Access to Nature

Our goal is for Vancouver residents to enjoy incomparable access to green spaces, including the world's most spectacular urban forest. Learn more about our Greenest City goal: Access to Nature.

Learn more about the urban forest strategy

Urban forest strategy

Urban Forest Strategy

Vancouver's Urban Forest Strategy provides tools for growing and maintaining a healthy, resilient urban forest for future generations.