Windsor earns Nature Canada’s “Bird Friendly City” designation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Unceded Algonquin Territory – Ottawa, ON, 16 June, 2022 – Nature Canada is proud to announce Canada’s next certified Bird Friendly City, Windsor, ON. Windsor is the 16th city in Canada to earn the designation.
Nature Canada’s partners led by the Pelee Island Bird Observatory, along with many other community organizations, have worked to make their community a safe haven for wild birds.
“The Pelee Island Bird Observatory, collaborating with partners in the City of Windsor have been working towards certification of Windsor as a Bird Friendly City. We agree that healthy bird populations are of critical importance to biodiversity and ecosystem health. As part of our commitment to Windsor becoming one of the first 30 cities to be certified in Canada, we have been moving towards creation of a national urban park at the Ojibway Prairie Complex. This would improve bird habitat in Windsor, among many other benefits. Proclaiming Windsor as a Bird Friendly City is a great boost for us, with economic and ecotourism potential, while positioning us alongside cities like Toronto, Vancouver, Hamilton, Guelph, and London. Many of the criteria for community engagement and education have already been met, and I look forward to working with Windsor’s Parks Department, Nature Canada, PIBO, and Tourism Windsor Essex to determine next steps in this important initiative.” -Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens
The city has implemented bird friendly policies and actions to help birds thrive in Windsor. These actions include:
- Implementing a collaborative approach involving animal welfare groups, nature groups and researchers to mitigate bird mortality from cat predation,
- Developing municipal strategies to protect natural features, biodiversity and key habitat, while implementing actions to achieve goals identified in the strategies,
- Presenting effective educational campaigns led by community organizations to raise awareness of the threats birds face in Windsor and provide information about how to mitigate them to protect bird biodiversity.
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.
Gordon Orr, CEO, Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island
“We are delighted to support the ongoing efforts in ensuring Windsor becomes a Bird Friendly City. Our region is renowned as a hotspot for birding enthusiasts, and through this important initiative, we have the capacity to draw more visitation to the area from nature lovers, including our fine feathered friends. The criteria for becoming bird-friendly brings into light the need for habitat restoration and preservation, which is critical in maintaining a balance within our ecosystem. Tourism Windsor Essex looks forward to playing an integral role with community partners in promoting the unique migratory species who seasonally make our destination their home, and in providing support with having residents name a designated bird of the city.”
“In the City of Windsor, nature is everywhere. The Parks Department proudly invites residents and visitors, including bird enthusiasts, to experience over 200 parks, 150+ km of multi-use trails, plus over 2,400 acres of greenspace. We’ve been working with our partners at Tourism Windsor Essex and the Pelee Island Bird Observatory to identify Windsor as a Bird Friendly City, and to identify where we can do more. We look forward to collaborating on events and initiatives, while continuing to promote bird awareness and habitat protection through our efforts at the Ojibway Prairie Complex, Peche Island, and throughout the community.” – James Chacko, Executive Director, Parks and Facilities, City of Windsor
“As proud Windsor residents and bird lovers, we know that our city and surrounding county features some of the most diverse and critical bird habitat, and the best birding around! Windsor has made strides toward becoming a cleaner, greener, healthier, and more sustainable place to live. A bird friendly city designation allows us to showcase these efforts, and help to do the same for birds and other wildlife.”
Jennifer Nantais, Urban Bird Educator, Pelee Island Bird Observatory
For more information contact:
613-562-3447 ext. 230