Bird Friendly City

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Consultation has concluded

It's official!

With 1,656 votes, you chose Black-capped Chickadee as Guelph’s official bird! 


A black capped chickadee perched on a ripe summac seed head. Photo credit to Katie Duncan


Honourable mentions go to Chimney Swift (715 votes) and Green Heron (407 votes). Next steps – we present your official selection to Council on June 7, where hopefully Council will support our application to become a Bird Friendly City!  


Why become a bird friendly city?

North American bird populations have dropped by more than 25 per cent in recent years. Domestic cats, window and car collisions, and habitat loss present hazards to birds living in urban communities.

Becoming a Bird Friendly City will raise awareness in the community about local birds and bird populations, provide science-based education and outreach, and contribute to reversing the trend of decline.

It's official!

With 1,656 votes, you chose Black-capped Chickadee as Guelph’s official bird! 


A black capped chickadee perched on a ripe summac seed head. Photo credit to Katie Duncan


Honourable mentions go to Chimney Swift (715 votes) and Green Heron (407 votes). Next steps – we present your official selection to Council on June 7, where hopefully Council will support our application to become a Bird Friendly City!  


Why become a bird friendly city?

North American bird populations have dropped by more than 25 per cent in recent years. Domestic cats, window and car collisions, and habitat loss present hazards to birds living in urban communities.

Becoming a Bird Friendly City will raise awareness in the community about local birds and bird populations, provide science-based education and outreach, and contribute to reversing the trend of decline.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
Discussions: All (3) Open (0)
  • Chimney Swift

    6 months ago
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    I prefer to nest in hollow trees however, there are few trees in the city to nest in. I've adapted to building nests in chimneys including several chimneys in downtown Guelph. Because of this the chimneys are protected and maintained for cultural heritage value and valuable real estate for Chimney Swifts such as myself. Why am I in the lead for the contest to become Guelph's official bird? This is what people are saying about me:

     "This threatened species is not as well known maybe as some of the other candidates, but this “cigar with wings” (real nickname!) is a trooper.  With a population decline of a whopping 90% since 1970, this mosquito-eating bird deserves some love and attention!!  Guelph - vote for this “underdog” bird!!" AZ

    "Guelph is a green City so let's advocate for and protect an endangered bird by making it our mascot.  Then we can start re-creating habitat for the bird in our parks, open spaces and neighbourhoods." MF

    "In the summer I see and hear these birds flying over as I'm walking to work and it's one of the things I look forward to about summers in Guelph." BT

    "Chimney swifts are under-appreciated.  They eat bugs.  Let me say that again.  They eat bugs!  Lots of them.  They are a distinctive bird of summer that anyone can see flying high overhead all over Guelph..."ZG

  • Black-capped Chickadee

    6 months ago
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    You can find me in Guelph year round and I can make myself at home just about anywhere, including your yard. I am bold, inquisitive and I have a prominent black cap. Isn't it cute?! Sometimes, I'll even eat right out of your hand. I'm not shy. Want to know what people are saying about me? I do!:

    "We enjoy watching the Chickadees in the tree from my livingroom window, they are there all year round." R&B K

    "They are one of the birds that stick around all year round. And seeing that Guelph is a big university town, I think this little bird best represents our city because they look like they are wearing a black plaster board caps, the ones that graduates wear when they graduate. I vote for the Chickadee."TC

    "Beautiful bird!" BB

    "The Black Capped Chickadee has my vote because he graces us with his presence year round and, during the deep cold dark days of winter, he sings and chirps to us and brightens even the gloomiest day." ME

    "I love seeing the Black-Capped Chickadee all year round at my bird feeder. They are a delight. They definitely brighten my day with their song. They look so cute and friendly and that is why I think it would be great if  Black-Capped Chickadee was chosen the Bird for the Bird Friendly City" CH

  • Green Heron

    6 months ago
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    I am not as easy to find as some of the other birds. I am a bit secretive. I love the rivers in Guelph. You can find me along the wooded banks of the Speed and Eramosa Rivers hunting for fish. You can tell it's me by my small and stocky body with a dark reddish-brown neck. This is what people in Guelph are saying about me:

    "I believe the best bird to represent Guelph would be the Green Heron. As we are an environmentally conscious city, the choice of the Green Heron would best represent both nature and the larger environment." SG

    "I spotted my first one this year. I was in awe and enjoy watching this marvellous bird." LW

    "My biggest thrill kayaking the Eramosa 4x a week is to catch a glimpse of the green Heron.  Very hard to spot but if you pay attention, you'll see him unless he sees you first."RP

    "Beautiful Bird!" NY