By Jennifer Nantais
In 2019, Nature Canada signed an agreement with Environment and Climate Change Canada to recognize 30 Canadian centres as “Bird-Friendly Cities” by May 14th, 2022 – World Migratory Bird Day. The goal is to work with local partners within each city to develop a certification standard to recognize and celebrate cities that are making contributions to save birds in their communities.
A Bird Friendly City is one where key threats to birds are effectively mitigated, nature is protected and restored so native bird populations can thrive, residents and visitors are actively engaged in admiring and monitoring local bird populations, organizations are creating events to protect birds, progressive municipal policies are created to protect urban bird populations, and a Bird Team has been created to oversee and lead these initiatives.
Windsor is one of a dozen cities working toward the goal of becoming one of the first certified Bird Friendly Cities with the help of local partner Pelee Island Bird Observatory. Initiatives include partnerships with St. Clair College, the University of Windsor, the City of Windsor and others to reduce threats and protect and restore habitat. PIBO also plans to promote outreach through education and awareness campaigns, public resources to benefit birds and local flora and fauna, and engaging opportunities and events including celebrating World Migratory Bird Day on May 8th, 2021.
The year is young, spring is around the corner and there is still much work to be done. With most Canadians living in cities, a focus on urban birds and citizen science initiatives will hopefully help achieve the goal of certification for our city. If you or your organization would like to help achieve this goal, please reach out and let us know!
Urban Bird Educator
Pelee Island Bird Observatory