Vancouver residents will cast their ballots for mayor, council, park board, and school board on November 15. But, for bird lovers, the real election is going on right now.
Until May 10, you can vote for Vancouver's city bird of 2015. There are six worthy contenders, including the Anna’s hummingbird, black-capped chickadee, Pacific wren, pileated woodpecker, and varied thrush.
One candidate, however, soars above the rest of the flock. It's the northern flicker (Colaptes auratus), whose social media manager is tweeting away at @northernflick.
That's why I'm personally endorsing the northern flicker for #VanCityBird. (My meaningless endorsement does not represent the views of the Georgia Straight, whose editorial staff is far from consensus on the top bird for the job.)
Here's nine reasons why it's worth your while to #VoteFlicker.
1. Forget empty condos.
Flickers live in Vancouver all year long.
2. Parks will be protected
After all, parks and gardens are among their favourite habitats.
3. Live music in public spaces
These woodpeckers are noted for their drumming.
4. More affordable housing
Flickers build rent-free homes in trees and telephone poles.
5. No need for densification
Their population is stable in Canada.
6. Natural pest control
They eat ants, beetles, and other local insects.
7. No impact on class sizes
Juveniles are home-schooled in flight and other areas of study.
8. Bike lanes won't be a priority
They already have plenty of flight paths.
9. Not above interacting with the public
They spend a lot of time on the ground and like to visit backyards.
Which species are you backing for Vancouver's city bird of 2015, and why? Tell us in the comments!