Bird Friendly City Regina

Help select Regina’s Official Bird! The City is working with the local Bird Friendly City Committee to find the bird that best represents our community.

Vote for Regina's Official Bird from November 30 to December 10, 2023 by visiting the Vote tab below.

Help select Regina’s Official Bird! The City is working with the local Bird Friendly City Committee to find the bird that best represents our community.

Vote for Regina's Official Bird from November 30 to December 10, 2023 by visiting the Vote tab below.

  • Top 6 Finalists

    Here are the Top 6 birds in competition for the title of Regina’s Official Bird:

    Canada Goose

    Canada Geese are abundant in our Regina parks, especially around Wascana Lake. These geese are all about loyalty and family – they mate for life and pairs remain together throughout the year. As the seasons change, thousands migrate filling the sky with long V-formations. But many call Regina home year-round due to our open water and food resources – even when temperatures are extremely cold.

    Most of us have fond memories of feeding ducks and geese at Wascana Lake, but did you know that bread is bad for birds? Bread has a high level of carbs and sugars which lack important vitamins and minerals. This can cause a nutritional deficiency leading to syndrome where their wings can twist unnaturally outwards, making them unable to fly. You can offer healthy alternatives including grass, lettuce, oats, and peas. Best of all is to enjoy waterfowl from afar, observing them eating the foods in their natural environments.

    The oldest known wild Canada Goose was quite the globetrotter. She was banded in Ohio in 1969 and was found in Ontario in 2001 – making her at least 33 years, 3 months old!

    American White Pelican

    The American White Pelican, one of North America's largest birds, is a majestic sight as it soars gracefully through the air on its broad wings, with its immense bill lending it a prehistoric appearance. They are mastered fishers as they use their pouched bills to scoop up large fish. They are the ultimate team players – coordinating their swimming to corral fish towards the shallows to easily scoop them up.

    Did you know, one-third of the world’s population of American White Pelicans breeds in Saskatchewan. It takes roughly 150 pounds of food to nourish a chick from its birth to the time it's ready to forage on its own.

    And when it comes to longevity, they’ve got that covered too. The oldest known American White Pelican was at least 23 years, 6 month and was banded in North Dakota in 1983.

    Gray Partridge

    Meet the Gray Partridge, nature's most skittish enigma! If you’ve ever been startled by a group of Partridges exploding into a scratchy, squawking flight when walking too near, know you are not alone.

    These birds are all about togetherness, gathering in small groups known as 'coveys’ year-round. Gray Partridges form monogamous bonds usually with a member of a different covey. Once pairs form, the female initiates courtship by bowing to the male with up-and-down head movements and by rubbing her neck against his to seal the connection. Females can lay up to 22 eggs – among the most of any bird species!

    Life for Gray Partridges is short but intense, with high mortality rates. A study found that an adults' life expectancy averages around 1.8 years, and the oldest known partridge was a wise old 4-year-old. These birds are full of surprises in their brief but vibrant existence!

    Black-capped Chickadee

    When it comes to cuteness, Black-capped Chickadees take the crown. These little avian wonders are famed for their oversized round heads and tiny bodies. Their insatiable curiosity extends to everything, including us humans.

    Here's where they really shine – they're masterminds of food storage. Chickadees stash seeds for later in secret hideaways and these savvy birds can remember thousands of them. Every fall, they replace brain neurons containing old information with new neurons so they can adapt to changes in their social flocks and environment

    “Cheese-burger!” Chickadees have their own complex language. Their calls convey a wealth of information. From identity recognition to predator alerts and contact calls, it's a sophisticated system. The more dee notes in their famous ‘chickadee-dee-dee’ call, the higher the threat level – which other species of birds listen for as well.

    Although they don’t have the beak of a woodpecker, Chickadees are able to independently excavate small cavities in dead tree trunks (called snags) where they nest. They are also fond of using abandoned Downy Woodpecker cavities.

    The oldest known wild Black-capped Chickadee was a male. In 2021, it was recaptured and rereleased, a staggering 11 years and 8 months after it was first banded in 2009 in New York. These little birds are full of big surprises!

    Peregrine Falcon

    Aptly named “Peregrine” a word meaning “wanderer”, these Falcons are one of the most widespread birds in the world being found on all continents except Antarctica. The Peregrine Falcon has a need for speed, flying up to 112 km/h in direct pursuit of prey. For high-altitude hunting stoops, they may reach speeds of 320 km/h as they drop towards their prey.

    In North America they favor open landscapes with cliffs for nest sites. Some opt for urban living, nesting atop skyscrapers. Just look at Regina’s City Hall, a cherished Peregrine Falcon nesting site since the ‘90s, thanks to its reliable Rock Pigeon food supply.

    Once declared an Endangered Species, the Peregrine Falcon population has been recovering slowly after having crashed from 1950-1970 due to DDT poisoning. Thanks to bans on these harmful pesticides, Peregrine Falcons are no longer on the brink but are still classified as Species of Special Concern.

    The oldest recorded Peregrine Falcon was at least 19 years, 9 months old, when it was identified by its band in Minnesota in 2012, the same state where it had been banded in 1992. A testament to the enduring spirit of these fearless wanderers!

    Red-breasted Nuthatch

    Meet the Red-breasted Nuthatch, an electrifying burst of energy among the trees. These petite birds are constantly on the move, making their presence known with their excited 'yank-yank' calls, reminiscent of tiny tin horns tooting in the treetops. With nimble agility, they traverse tree trunks and branches in any direction they please.

    In the world of courtship, male Red-breasted Nuthatches have a flair for the dramatic. They serenade potential mates by turning their backs, singing, and swaying from side to side with raised crest feathers. Alternatively, they perform an aerial ballet, engaging in a captivating display of slow wing fluttering or graceful glides through the air.

    Nuthatches are remarkable architects, belonging to the select group of non-woodpeckers capable of excavating their own nest cavities from solid wood. Just as with Black-capped Chickadees, dead trees known as snags are essential for these cavity nesters. Excavation can take up to 18 days. As a final touch, they expertly apply conifer resin around the entrance, sometimes applying it with a piece of bark – a remarkable example of tool use. The resin may help keep out predators or competitors. The Nuthatch avoids the resin by making a swift dive directly through the hole.

    Photo Credits: Cathy Wall and Kim Mann

  • Meet and Listen to our Panelists

    Meet our six panelists, each of whom will be defending one of our final six birds!

    Be sure to tune in to watch each of our panelists defend their bird on the CBC Morning Edition:

    Mon. November 20th, 8:10 a.m. - Black Capped Chickadee - Dr. Ryan Fisher
    Tues. November 21st, 8:10 a.m. - American Pelican - Nelson Bird
    Wed. November 22nd, 8:10 a.m. - Peregrine Falcon- Jordan Rustad
    Thurs. November 23rd, 8:10 a.m. - Red Breasted Nuthatch - Cheryl Stadnichuk
    Fri. November 24th, 8:20 a.m. - Grey Partridge - Student(s) from Thomson Community School
    Mon. November 27th, 8:10 a.m. - Canada Goose - Trevor Herriot

    Cheryl Stadnichuk - Red Breasted Nuthatch

    Cheryl Stadnichuk is serving her first term as the Councillor for Ward 1. She grew up in the village of Guernsey and has always enjoyed spending time in nature and finding the spring’s first crocuses. Prior to being elected to City Council, Cheryl had worked for over 23 years as a researcher for CUPE. She is passionate about the environment, equity and social inclusion, quality public services and liveable cities.

    Ryan Fisher - Black Capped Chickadee

    Ryan Fisher is the Curator of Vertebrate Zoology at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum. His research has taken him all over the province to study our unique birds and landscapes. In addition to doing research on birds, Ryan is also an avid birdwatcher and occasionally runs courses on bird identification in the City of Regina.

    Listen to Ryan's argument for the Chickadee on the CBC Morning Edition.

    Trevor Herriot - Canada Goose
    Trevor Herriot is a naturalist, grassland conservationist, and the author of several award-winning books, including Grass, Sky, Song and the national bestseller River in a Dry Land, both of which were short-listed for the Governor General’s Award for Non-fiction. Towards a Prairie Atonement, published in October 2016, took two Saskatchewan Book Awards. His most recent book, a novel, The Economy of Sparrows, was released this fall. He is a recipient of the Kloppenberg Award for Literary Merit and the Saskatchewan Order of Merit. His essays and articles have appeared in The Globe & Mail, The Narwhal, Brick, Border Crossings, Canadian Geographic, and several anthologies. For more than twenty years he has been the voice of Birdline on CBC Radio Saskatchewan's Blue Sky noon show. He and his wife, Karen, live in Regina, and spend much of their time on a piece of Aspen Parkland prairie east of the city.

    Nelson Bird - American Pelican

    Nelson Bird is the assignment editor at CTV Regina News and has been in that position since 2013. He is also the host and producer of the CTV Saskatchewan news segment “Indigenous Circle”. Nelson is a mix of Cree, Saulteaux and Métis and was born in Balcarres and raised on Peepeekisis First Nation. He has lived and worked in Regina for 40 years. Nelson began his career with CTV Saskatchewan in 1998 and has been awarded numerous regional, national and international awards including several Radio Television Digital News Association of Canada Awards including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2023. Nelson graduated from the University of Regina / First Nations University with a degree in Journalism and Indigenous Studies. He has a certificate in Indian Communications Arts and a Professional Management Certificate from the University of Regina. Nelson is passionate about covering all issues relating to diversity but has a special knowledge and interest in covering Indigenous issues. He regularly mentors and trains young and upcoming journalists for the last 25 years. Nelson is very proud of his Indigenous culture. Nelson is married to Judy Bird and they enjoy living in Regina.

    Listen to Nelson's argument for the American Pelican on the CBC Morning Edition.

    Jordan Rustad - Peregrine Falcon

    Jordan Rustad is the Field Manager and Bander-in-Charge at the Last Mountain Bird Observatory after having begun working there as a volunteer when she was 17 years old. Each year, Jordan bands thousands of songbirds to help us understand more about them. Jordan is currently completing her Master of Science at the University of Regina. As a part of her Master’s work she is leading the City Critter Challenge through the Saskatchewan Science Centre. Jordan has led many public education programs for kids, families and adults about birds through Nature Regina and Nature Saskatchewan. Jordan has an encyclopedic memory of birding information and her skills are unparalleled in the identification of song birds in our province!

    Thomson Community School Students - Grey Partridge

    Saida Abdulaziz, Cash McNab, Leo Dustyhorn, Rose Reid and Athan Knipfel-Severight from the grade 4 and 5 classes at "kiskinwahamatowin” Learning Together Thomson Community School land-based learning program will be defending the Grey Partridge. Land-based education is an environmental approach to learning that recognizes the deep connection and relationship of Indigenous peoples to the Land. It seeks to offer education about the land grounded within Indigenous knowledge.

    Students are taken on excursions within the city to provide opportunities for connection with the land. Language learning is incorporated throughout the school instilling pride and a sense of belonging within the student population. Students learn from the land through activities including sage picking, fishing, buffalo harvest, tobacco growing, and raising edible plants from seeds. The school will also be involved with Muscowpetung First Nation on a community garden project, assisting in the cultivation of the land and learning to become stewards of the land.

    Regina Public Schools sees continued disparities in educational outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. Numerous studies suggest that restoring traditional ways of teaching and learning can offset this trend. In 2015, the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was released, calling for the integration of Indigenous Worldviews into Canadian classrooms. Students at Thomson Community School have been learning all about birds this fall and will be sharing their knowledge.

  • Thank you to Thomson Community School!

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    We've finished tallying your nominations for Regina's official bird, thanks to our helpers from Thomson Community School!

    The Grade 4 and 5 students first did some serious bird research - including dressing like a bird, learning about migration and making milk jug bird feeders! With these qualifications, they then got to work on counting your votes.

    Thomson Community School participates in a Land-based Learning pilot program, which takes an environmental approach to learning that recognizes the deep connection and relationship of Indigenous peoples to the Land. It seeks to offer education about the land grounded within Indigenous knowledge.

  • Timeline

    March 2022

    • Regina’s Bird City Committee succeeds in obtaining Bird City status for Regina. Joining other cities in Canada, Regina is committed to making our city a safer place for birds.

Page last updated: 30 Nov 2023, 08:55 AM