Welcome to Anticraptor – All you need to know about birds in Canada

In such a vast country, you can find birds of all shapes and sizes. Now with so many options to choose from, which bird will fit the role of being the official bird of Canada? Interestingly, Canada doesn’t have national birds, but rather regional birds. Since Canada doesn’t have a national bird, an official movement commenced in 2017 to change this reality.

With votes polling in from several regions of Canada, the Gray Jay was triumphant. However, there is still no official ratification to honour the Gray Jay, or any other Canadian bird for that matter. So, states continue to adore their regional birds, adorning their state flags and festivals using bird symbols.

Discover avian wonders: essential knowledge about birds in Canada.
Discover avian wonders: essential knowledge about birds in Canada.

Birds To Look For In Canada This Summer

Take a drive around Canada this year, and you can witness the splendour of approximately 450 bird species. Sighting all these birds would require a tremendous effort. Therefore, let’s limit this range and discuss ten unique species of birds you can witness in Canada this summer.

Keep an eye out this summer for these ten birds:

  • Great Horned Owl — Alberta
  • Common Loon — Ontario
  • Great Gray Owl — Manitoba
  • Atlantic Puffin — Newfoundland & Labrador
  • Osprey — Nova Scotia
  • Snowy Owl — Quebec
  • Common Raven — Yukon Territory
  • Sharp-Tailed Grouse — Saskatchewan
  • Rock Ptarmigan — Nunavut
  • Black-Capped Chickadee — New Brunswick

You can learn more about these birds and where to spot them here.

The Bird-Pests in Canada

What does the word pest brew up in your mind? For most people, images of termites, roaches, or even rats are likely to pop up. At best, one may imagine some pigeons!

Birds such as pigeons are seldom cited as pests. However, they can be a nuisance to humans and the environment alike. Their sheer amounts (pests are known for their immense volume) can drive out other native species by outcompeting them. Similarly, their combined weight can break branches and disfigure trees. Starlings, house sparrows, and Canadian geese are a few other birds with pest-like attributes.

Managing avian challenges: addressing bird pests in Canada.
Managing avian challenges: addressing bird pests in Canada.

The State Of Canada’s Birds

Our birds play a vital role in maintaining ecological balance and are considered the voice of nature. However, many bird species are facing a significant population decline, putting their very existence at risk. Shorebirds, grassland birds, aerial insectivores, and other types of birds in Canada have been dwindling in their count over the years.

We especially need to preserve the declining populations of Ruddy Turnstones, Common Nighthawk, Swainson’s hawks, and Red Knot, to name a few species. Further, the recovery of waterfowl and birds of prey has already shown that conservation efforts can yield positive results.

Monitoring avian health: the state of Canada's birds assessed.
Monitoring avian health: the state of Canada’s birds assessed.

Population status of Canada’s migratory birds

When it comes to Canada’s ecology and culture, migratory birds play an important role. These birds migrate from one place to another, and by doing so, they can aid us in pest control while dispersing seeds and pollen. Therefore, it’s critical to track and preserve migratory species like Common Eider, Killdeer, Common Tern, Savannah Sparrow, and Pine Siskin, among several others.

Several indicators include trends in breeding bird populations, trends in the abundance and distribution of shorebirds and waterbirds, and trends in bird collisions with human-made structures such as buildings and communication towers. These trends and indicators help the government determine threats to migratory birds, along with the progress of their conservation efforts.

Tracking migratory patterns: population status of Canada's birds analyzed.
Tracking migratory patterns: population status of Canada’s birds analyzed.

Bird Projects

Birds are nature’s gift to Canada, something that Canada has to preserve at all costs. The Canadian government undertakes various projects to protect birds and their habitats, including legal protections for migratory birds, funding for habitat conservation projects, and recovery efforts for endangered species.

The government also supports bird monitoring programs, research on bird conservation, and public education initiatives to raise awareness and encourage public participation in conservancy efforts. Some notable public projects making a dent in bird conservation thus far include Project NestWatch and Project FeederWatch.