This past summer, the avian gatekeepers at K&K noted that the City of Vancouver had yet to relaunch its annual City Bird contest where residents with a lot of time on their hands could vote for their favourite bird from a ballot of half a dozen feathery candidates. None of which, we might add, has ever been the mighty Red Tailed Hawk. For shame.
More importantly, we lamented the fact that last year’s winner, the douchey Peregrine Falcon, had exceeded its one-year reign and continued to rule the roost while the future of the contest remained — wait for it — up in the air.
A colleague contacted the city and learned that the city’s Bird Strategy committee — you read that correctly — was “looking at various options, including a model that would see an election — possibly next year sometime — for a permanent City Bird rather than a new one elected every year.”
Then last week, on the park board’s website, we found the curiously titled item “Words for Birds: A Creative Inquiry.” According to the item, as part of the city and park board’s efforts to establish a permanent Vancouver City Bird, the park board is collecting words that describe characteristics of the city and its people. “The City Bird will reflect qualities of the people who call Vancouver home. Chirp in with your Words for Birds!” Visitors to website are then encouraged to answer the following questions: If the people of Vancouver were birds, how would you describe us? How do the people of Vancouver dress? Where do the people of Vancouver flock and hang out, talk, and sing? Do the people of Vancouver prefer fish, meat, fruit, grains, or vegetables? And where do the people of Vancouver nest, groom, and bathe?
Now we’re as fun-loving and bird-positive as the next easily irritated person, but this entire exercise seems ridiculous and convoluted. We can’t even tell if the next City Bird is going to be real or an invented creature that pays too much for its tiny nest, stretches its wings for yoga and craps all over the Granville Mall on weekends to let off a little steam because bird-people are terrible.
Red Tailed Hawk in 2017!