Strathcona County earns Nature Canada’s “Bird Friendly City” designation

May 12, 2022

Strathcona County earns Nature Canada’s “Bird Friendly City” designation

Strathcona County is proud to share the following news release on behalf of Nature Canada.

Unceded Algonquin Territory, Ottawa, ON -  May 12, 2022 – Nature Canada is proud to announce Canada’s next certified Bird Friendly City, Strathcona County, AB. Strathcona County becomes the 12 municipality in Canada to earn the designation.

Strathcona County has worked in collaboration with Nature Canada’s partners including The Nature Conservancy of Canada, along with many other community organizations to make their communities a safe haven for wild birds.

Mayor Rod Frank, Strathcona County

“We are so very pleased to be Bird Friendly certified. Strathcona County’s Environmental Framework identifies declining bird populations as a persistent issue, and we are committed to taking action. Thank you to our staff, partners and residents who continue to contribute to addressing threats to our wild bird populations. Initiatives have included our light efficient community policy, habitat protection, a cat shelter pilot project, and citizen science opportunities. We’re delighted our community’s activities are being recognized.”

Strathcona County has implemented bird friendly policies and actions to help birds thrive in the municipality. These actions include: 

  • Implementing a collaborative approach to mitigate bird mortality from cat predation;
  • Developing municipal strategies to address climate change impacts, and protect natural features, biodiversity and key habitat;
  • Educational campaigns to raise awareness of the threats birds face and provide information about how to mitigate them to protect bird biodiversity. 

For more information about Strathcona County’s bird friendly approach, visit strathcona.ca/birdfriendlycommunity.

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! 

Quotes: 

“Strathcona County has taken an important step in merging interests of the environment with human interests. Creating a thriving environment for birds helps them survive in a rapidly-changing world, but also provides important benefits for people.”

- Glen Hvenegaard, Bird Friendly Team

“With the twin crisis of biodiversity loss and climate change, Strathcona County’s Bird Friendly City certification will ensure its bird habitat is conserved, enhanced, and stewarded, with the help of stakeholders and community members. Birds not only bring us with joy with their colourful plumage and songs, but they also play important roles in our ecosystems, especially here in the Beaver Hills Biosphere.”

- Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), Bird Team member

Additional Resources:

Nature Canada is Canada's voice for nature. For 80 years, Nature Canada has helped protect over 110 million acres of parks and wildlife areas in Canada and countless species. Today, Nature Canada represents a network of over 130,000 members and supporters and more than 1,000 nature organizations.

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For more information contact: 

Scott Mullenix
613-562-3447 ext. 230
media@naturecanada.ca