Edmonton, AB Earns Nature Canada’s “Bird Friendly City” Designation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Unceded Algonquin Territory – Ottawa, ON, 10 May, 2022 – Nature Canada is proud to announce Canada’s next certified Bird Friendly City, Edmonton, AB. Edmonton becomes the eighth city in Canada to earn the designation.
The City of Edmonton has worked in collaboration with Nature Canada’s partners including Edmonton Nature Club, Nature Alberta, Beaver Hill Bird Observatory, Edmonton Area Land Trust and North Saskatchewan River Valley Conservation Society, along with many other community organizations to make their communities a safe haven for wild birds.
“I am happy to hear that Nature Canada has certified Edmonton as a Bird Friendly City! Whether it’s a Magpie in your backyard or Cedar Waxwing in the River Valley, birds make Edmonton feel like Edmonton. I am proud we are taking steps to make sure our city is a haven for this important group in our urban ecosystem. Thank you and congratulations to the dedicated community volunteers who made it happen.”
Amarjeet Sohi, Mayor of Edmonton
The city has implemented bird friendly policies and actions to help birds thrive in Edmonton. These actions include:
- Protecting natural habitat to conserve, restore, grow and connect natural spaces to support biodiversity;
- A strong commitment to climate change mitigation and adaptation;
- Celebrating World Migratory Bird Day;
- Providing opportunities for residents, including youth, to learn about and appreciate wild birds around the city.
The Bird Friendly City designation has been developed by Nature Canada to encourage Canadian cities and municipalities to become safer and better places for birds.
Birds play an essential role in maintaining healthy and resilient ecosystems in our communities and on our planet. But there are three billion fewer birds in North America today than 50 years ago. Much of these losses are caused by human activities. As urban expansion continues, cities must act quickly to ensure that North America’s bird populations are protected and supported. Nature Canada’s Bird Friendly City program encourages communities to take action to:
- reduce the number of human-related threats to birds such as roaming cats, the use of pesticides, and glass treatment on buildings with large windows,
- create safe environments for birds by promoting stewardship and ensuring that natural habitats are protected and restored,
- engage and educate citizens about the benefits of Bird Friendly Cities and celebrating birds in our communities.
In each municipality seeking to become Bird Friendly certified, Bird Teams are created and residents are actively engaged in protecting, monitoring and celebrating their local bird populations.
Nature Canada is pleased to acknowledge the support of Environment and Climate Change Canada for the Bird Friendly City program and World Migratory Bird Day. As part of the Bird Friendly City program, Bird Teams are encouraged to host World Migratory Bird Day events to celebrate welcoming migratory birds back into our neighborhoods each spring!
Nature Alberta is proud to have contributed environmental education efforts, publications, and initiatives that have helped the City of Edmonton achieve Bird Friendly certification. We all have a role to play in bird conservation. At the “big-picture” scale, we need government to prioritize habitat protection, reduce pesticide use, and take meaningful action on climate change. Individual Edmontonians can help save birds through simple actions that create bird-friendly spaces in the city. Making windows more visible to prevent window strikes, keeping cats indoors to prevent predation, placing feeders and bird baths in safe locations, and growing native flowers all make a difference for both resident and migratory birds. The City of Edmonton’s endorsement acknowledges the importance of bird conservation in an urban environment and helps build awareness among citizens. Nature Alberta is grateful to be collaborating with all contributing members of the Bird Friendly City Team to increase the appreciation and conservation of nature in Edmonton and beyond.
—Steph Weizenbach, Program Director, Nature Alberta