Nature Canada

Nature Canada’s New Bird Friendly City & Town Standards: Urban Innovation for People, Birds & Biodiversity

New certification standards are more rigorous, with updated criteria and also promotes bird-friendly businesses and design.

Le contenu français suit.

We heard you loud and clear—municipalities and built environments of all sizes must do more to protect, defend, and conserve their natural areas, wildlife and biodiversity at large. As urban expansion continues, bird friendly actions must be at the forefront of our minds if we want to continue to make our cities, towns, and villages safer places for species at risk and migratory birds. By protecting and restoring natural bird habitat through Nature Canada’s Bird Friendly City Certification Program, community members and decision-makers will have the opportunity to experience the immense benefits of getting outside and viewing birds1 and wildlife — while ensuring their protection.

Furthermore, a Bird Friendly City (just like the 15+ others across the country!) is a badge of honour and a source of community pride. Our certification standard is now even more rigorous than when the program first launched in 2019. The updated criteria now reflect the importance of keeping cats indoors, establishing no-roam animal control bylaws, and banning rodenticides and other harmful herbicides/pesticides that cause insect declines. The new standard also promotes bird-friendly businesses, bird-friendly design guidelines and much more.

You can learn more about our newly updated Bird Friendly City and Small Town Standards by watching our bilingual webinar recordings below or visiting our YouTube channel. Now is the time to apply to become the country’s next Bird Friendly City or Town!

These webinars were previously recorded on July 11th and 12th respectively.

Join Naturalist Director Ted Cheskey and Nature Canada’s Organizing Team to discuss our newly updated Bird Friendly City and Small Town Certification program standards. Whether applying for the first time or renewing an existing certification, these will be the standards by which your application will be judged. We will also set your Bird Team coalition up for success when submitting your application this upcoming September, 2023.

With Nature Canada since 2006, Ted holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in environmental studies, regional planning and resource management from the University of Waterloo. He was a contributing author and steering committee member of Canada’s landmark State of the Birds: 2012 and 2019 Reports and the 2016 State of North America’s Birds, and has authored many publications and presentations related to bird conservation and natural history.

Ted also has a long history of fieldwork and research, both as a citizen scientist and conservation professional. He spent twenty years studying the impact of urbanization on forest birds for the City of Waterloo, Ontario. He co-founded and is past president of the Bruce Peninsula Bird Observatory.

Joignez-vous au Directeur Naturaliste, Ted Cheskey, Amélie Falcon-Borduas, Directrice adjointe de Québec Oiseaux, et à l’équipe et à l’équipe organisatrice de Nature Canada pour discuter de nos nouvelles normes pour notre programme de certification ‘Ville Amie des Oiseaux‘ récemment mises à jour. Notre équipe vous supportera tout au long du processus d’application pour assurer le succès de votre coalition.

Please email Autumn Jordan, Urban Nature Organizer at: if you have any questions about Nature Canada’s Bird Friendly City: A Certification Program.

1 Tryjanowski P, Murawiec S, Grimalt R. Nature and Mental Health – Birding is a Proven Solution. Alpha Psychiatry. 2022 Sep 1;23(5):262-263. doi: 10.5152/alphapsychiatry.2022.22916. PMID: 36426272; PMCID: PMC9623220.

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