The Canada Jay: the national bird of Canada?
By: David Bird, Dan Strickland, Ryan Norris, Alain Goulet, Aaron Kylie, Mark Nadjiwan, Michel Gosselin & Colleen Archer
ISBN: 978-0-88839-717-1 [Trade Paperback]
ISBN: 978-0-88839-772-0 [eBook color]
Binding: Trade Paper
Size: 5.5" X 8.5"
Publication Date: Fall 2021
The Canada Jay as Canada’s National Bird? presents a convincing argument for the official recognition of the Canada Jay as our national bird by the federal government.
With chapters written by several authors, including experts on the species, whimsical poetry, perspectives from all three founding peoples of Canada, many excellent colourful photos and paintings by talented photographers and artists, and a Foreword by none other than Robert Bateman, the book promotes the idea that Canada needs a National Bird and that the Canada Jay best fits the bill. While the bird was proclaimed the winner of the ‘contest’ run by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society several years ago and despite the fact that many Canadians now consider it to be our national bird, our federal government has yet to recognize it officially. One could not find a more Canadian bird than the aptly named Canada Jay!
This clever corvid breeds in every province and territory and its range almost mirrors our country’s borders. It is extremely friendly, often landing on an outstretched palm even without food, and it is among the hardiest of all of our Canadian birds, staying north of the 49th parallel during winter and sometimes incubating eggs at -30 degrees C! It is not hunted or killed for any reason and its popular name, whisky jack, originates from our Indigenous peoples.
Best of all, it has not yet been chosen to represent any provinces or territories. Finally, the Canada Jay presents itself as an excellent ‘poster child’ for our boreal forests, for our national and provincial parks, and for climate change.
David M. Bird
As an Emeritus Professor of Wildlife Biology at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec and now living on Vancouver Island, David has co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed papers, supervised 50 graduate students, mostly on birds of prey, and has written and/or edited more than a dozen nature books. David is a past-president of the Raptor Research Foundation Inc. and the Society of Canadian Ornithologists and has earned several awards for his research and education efforts. Besides his innumerable public lectures and radio and television appearances, he writes bimonthly columns on birds for BirdWatcher’s Digest and Canadian Wildlife magazines and produces a bimonthly podcast for Brome Bird News. See www.askprofessorbird.com for more.
As the Chief Park Naturalist of Ontario’s famous Algonquin Park for 30 years, Dan played a leading role in creating the Park’s outstanding program to interpret its natural and human history to thousands of visitors. In his spare time, Dan single-handedly expanded a program to learn the Canada Jay’s secrets and today he is recognized as the architect of one of the longest and most successful studies of its kind in the world. Since retiring in 2000, Dan has pursued his passion in Algonquin and across Canada, from Quebec to British Columbia. In 2018 he also led the successful effort to restore Canada Jay as our bird’s official name.
Dr. Ryan Norris is an Associate Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph. Ryan began collaborating with Dan Strickland on the Algonquin Park Canada Jay Project in 2008 and, with their graduate students, have published many scientific papers on the ecology and life-history of this species. In total, Ryan has co-authored over 170 peer-reviewed articles, primarily on the conservation of birds and butterflies. He is an Elected Member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada and his work has been featured in media outlets around the world.
Born in Québec city, Alain developed a passion for birds at a very young age. His interest in birds continued over the years and flourished throughout his studies which eventually saw him complete his B.Sc. in Wildlife Biology at the University of Guelph. He now owns and manages Nature Expert (www.Nature-expert.ca) , a specialized boutique that caters to birders where he shares his vast experience with bird-watching, optics, bird-feeding, and other aspects of nature with beginners all the way up to professional ornithologists. Alain remains very passionate about conservation, citizen science and developing birding as a hobby.
Alain est né à Québec et a développé une passion pour les oiseaux dès son plus jeune âge. Son intérêt pour les oiseaux s'est poursuivi et s'est développé tout au long de ses études et il est diplômé de l'Université de Guelph en biologie de la faune. Il est maintenant propriétaire de la boutique Nature Expert, une boutique spécialisée en ornithologie où il partage sa vaste expérience en ornithologie, en optique, en mangeoires d’oiseaux et en plusieurs autres aspects de la nature aussi bien avec les débutants que les ornithologues professionnels… www.Nature-expert.ca . Alain est passionné par la conservation, la science citoyenne et le développement du loisir ornithologique.
Aaron Kylie is an experienced communications executive and journalist, focused on collaborating with individuals and groups to create inspiring multimedia content that shares purposeful stories — by showing, not telling. He is currently the associate publisher and editor-in-chief of Canadian Geographic (canadiangeographic.ca).
Indigenous visual artist, Mark Nadjiwan, is a member of the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation. He resides on their traditional territory on the Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula in Ontario. Mark is a self-taught artist. Working in pen and ink, his unique style is a fusion of the Woodland and Northwest Coast Native art traditions. In addition to his images, Mark’s work is also well known for his accompanying written “stories” which impart not only traditional understandings of the subject matter, but also convey more universal, transcultural values that resonate with people of all backgrounds.
Bird Collection Manager at the Canadian Museum of Nature (1978-2016), author or co-author of over 400 publications (popular, refereed, reports, books, etc.) on birds. Elective Member of the American Ornithologists’ Society and advisor to their North American Check-list Committee. Member of the Commission internationale sur les noms français des oiseaux, and past member of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada / Birds Specialists Subcommittee (1995-2010). Member of the Society of Canadian Ornithologists, Ontario Field Ornithologists, as well as scientific advisor and Past-President of QuébecOiseaux.
Responsable des collections d’oiseaux au Musée canadien de la nature (1978-2016), auteur ou co-auteur de plus de 400 publications (populaires, scientifiques, livres, rapports, etc.) sur les oiseaux. Membre élu de l’American Ornithologists’ Society and conseiller auprès de leur North American Check-list Committee. Membre de la Commission internationale sur les noms français des oiseaux, et membre du sous-comité de spécialistes des Oiseaux au Comité sur la situation des espèces en péril au Canada (1995-2010). Membre de la Société des ornithologistes du Canada, des Ontario Field Ornithologists, ainsi que conseiller scientifique et premier président de QuébecOiseaux.
Colleen Rutherford Archer is the author of over 2000 articles and short stories, seven young adult novels, and numerous poems in various magazines and anthologies. Colleen and her engineer husband Andrew ran a horse stable in Deep River, Ontario for over thirty years where Colleen's specialty was equine trick training. She still owns a trick palomino Aurum and an old white pony Timbit.
“Les membres du conseil d’administration de QuébecOiseaux expriment leur total soutien à la proposition de reconnaître le Mésangeai du Canada comme oiseau national du Canada"
“The executive council of the SCO-SOC feels that not only is it fitting for Canada to adopt a National Bird, but that the Canada Jay would be an excellent selection!"
-- Society of Canadian Ornithologists / Société des ornithologistes du Canada
“The Canada Jay is not just a logical choice for Canada’s National Bird – it’s an exciting, engaging and endearing one!"
-- Steven Price, President Emeritus, Birds Canada / Oiseaux Canada
“To a southerner like me, the Canada Jay has always been a sought-after treasure of the Boreal Forest. They are bold and curious by nature, but in a calm and understated way that adds immensely to their charisma. I can't think of a better choice for Canada's national bird."
-- David Sibley, author and illustrator of The Sibley Guide to Birds
“It’s the perfect time for Canada to have a national bird, and I’m confident that the Canada Jay is the ideal bird to represent Canada.”
-- Rick Hansen, Founder, Rick Hansen Foundation
“Memorable encounters with curious and resourceful Canada Jays are embedded in the outdoor experiences of people across our country. There is perhaps no other bird that better reflects the geography and the identity of this land."
-- Catherine Grenier, Présidente et Chef de la direction | President & CEO
Conservation de la nature Canada | Nature Conservancy of Canada