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Bird is the word: Vancouver’s 10th annual celebration of all things avian moves online

The Vancouver Bird Celebration, formerly known as Vancouver Bird Week, runs May 8-16
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The Vancouver Bird Celebration, formerly known as Vancouver Bird Week, runs May 8-16.

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s - No, wait, that is actually a bird. 

Get your binoculars out and look to the skies Vancouver, it's time to look past the hoards of crows, pigeons, and seagulls and instead try and spot many more of our winged friends from the cormorant to the bushtit. 

That’s right, this year marks the 10th anniversary of the Vancouver Bird Celebration, formerly known as Vancouver Bird Week. Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the celebration has moved online with a week-long series of events to inspire a love of Vancouver’s birds. Highlights include:

  • Inspired by Birds, a panel exploring how inspiration from birds can take many different forms with Stanley Park Ecology Society, May 8
  • Birds of Prey in B.C. with O.W.L. (Orphaned Wildlife) Rehabilitation Society, May 9
  • Fraser River Discovery (Birds of the Fraser Basin) with ornithologist, author, filmmaker and artist Dr. Rob Butler, May 11

For those sharp-eyed and competitive Vancouverites, you’re invited to take part in the Nature Vancouver Bird Challenge and try your hand at spotting birds like the Anna’s hummingbird, Steller’s jay, pelagic cormorant, American robin, spotted towhee, and the bushtit. 

Great bird-watching spots around the city include local parks such as John Hendry, Everett Crowley, Queen Elizabeth, and Jericho Beach. At VanDusen Botanical Garden, visitors can spot birds such as hummingbirds, hawks, owls, eagles, and black-capped chickadees. 

The event is organized by the Vancouver Bird Advisory Committee, in partnership with the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation. A recent release from the city, 20 per cent of Canada’s birds are currently listed at some level of risk and that a love of birds is the first step toward conservation action. 

The event is 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.

For more information about the Vancouver Bird Celebration, you can check out their website.