Scientists estimate that bird populations have declined by almost 3 billion since 1970. Here in Lions Bay, we are fortunate enough to see a multitude of bird species all over the village and in our forests. Backyard bird feeding is a popular pastime for many of us and our village is in fact located within the English Bay, Burrard Inlet and Howe Sound Important Bird Area. And... we of course fall within the Howe Sound Biosphere Region.
Clearly action is needed to protect our birds, who face many dangers, especially while migrating and nesting. In May 2021, a group of volunteers in the village learned of Nature Canada’s Bird Friendly City designation. This is similar to the Bear Smart designation which is a great source of pride for our village.
Our hope is, by involving residents in a fun, informative way, by highlighting the dangers birds face, and by identifying simple steps we can each take to be more Bird Friendly, that together we will make Lions Bay a safer place for our birds.
Nature Canada is one of the oldest national nature conservation charities in Canada. They have been protecting parks, wildlife and countless species for 80 years. Today, they represent more than 1,000 nature organisations and have over 130,000 members and supporters.
The Nature Canada Bird Friendly City designation is awarded to communities that meet set criteria aimed at:
Habitat protection, restoration and climate resiliency
Community outreach and education
New application criteria for small municipalities were announced in October, 2021. Lions Bay already met some of these. The team went to work and applied for certification in March 2022. On May 10th, 2022, Nature Canada announced that Lions Bay was the first community to earn the Bird Friendly City designation in the new Small Town category! This is a wonderful achievement for our village and another of which to be proud. The designation lends support to our conservation activities and is very much in line with our Official Community Plan Bylaw, which lists as its first core theme “Respecting nature and the environment” and specifically refers to the protection of nesting areas.
The original Bird Friendly team has grown to a total of 7 members who have volunteered to assist in various ways, including producing educational campaigns and holding an annual community event on World Migratory Bird Day, which in 2022 was on May 14th.
Glaucous Winged Gull