Canadian Geographic - - NATIONAL BIRD - Cana­dian Ge­o­graphic’s Cana­dian Ge­o­graphic’s

with a ca­sual com­ment at “Can you be­lieve Canada still doesn’t have a na­tional bird?” Canada’s 150th was around the cor­ner, so with the help of our Na­tional Con­ser­va­tion Part­ners at Bird Stud­ies Canada, we chose the 40 most “Cana­dian” birds of the 450 with habi­tat in the coun­try. Then tens of thou­sands of Cana­di­ans agreed — we need a na­tional bird — and they voted and shared their opin­ions (see “The peo­ple’s choice,” page 38). We brought the idea to fed­eral gov­ern­ment min­is­ters. We looked to or­nithol­o­gists, con­ser­va­tion­ists and In­dige­nous Peo­ples for their ex­per­tise and held a de­bate (see “The great na­tional bird de­bate,” page 40). In the end, one bird best met all rea­son­able cri­te­ria: found in ev­ery province and ter­ri­tory but not al­ready one of their of­fi­cial birds; nearly exclusive to Canada and a year-round res­i­dent; not hunted; and im­por­tant to In­dige­nous Peo­ples (see “Our na­tional bird,” page 42). With­out fur­ther ado, we give you the gray jay. Also known as the whiskey jack or Canada jay, it is of­fi­cial rec­om­men­da­tion for Na­tional Bird of Canada. of­fice.

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