For Immediate Release: April 21, 2011

Park Board Commissioners Barnes and Woodcock mark World Migratory Bird Day

For the first time, Vancouver will be celebrating World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) on May 15, 2011. Park Board Commissioners Constance Barnes and Loretta Woodcock will be reading a Proclaimation that recognizes World Migratory Bird Day, signed by Mayor Gregor Robertson.

On Sunday May 15, two bird walks have been scheduled at 9am starting from the Pavilion building in Stanley Park and from the Bloedel Conservatory at Queen Elizabeth park. The Stanley Park Ecological Society will be hosting a bird walk in Stanley Park, lead by birder Cathy Atchison, accompanied by COPE Commissioner Woodcock. Community activist Brent Granby will be hosting the bird walk at Queen Elizabeth park, lead by reknown ornithologist Rob Butler, accompanied by Vision Commissioner Barnes.

WMBD is a United Nations initiative that recognizes the importance of birds as key indicators of the health of our environment, which in turn contributes to the health of city residents. With the consistent growth of cities and urban networks disrupting the intricate chain of habitats that birds need to complete their migrations, WMBD recognizes the value of bringing nature into cities by protecting birds and enhancing their habitats.

Commissioner Woodcock emphasizes the importance of the Pacific Flyway and the Fraser River Delta within Metro Vancouver “Metro Vancouver has some of the world’s most important habitat that millions of birds use to rest and feed enroute to their nesting grounds. Of the 500 recognized species in British Columbia, Metro Vancouver can boast of 407 bird species, more than any other metro area in Canada.”

Commissioner Barnes supports building this awareness which aligns itself to Vancouver’s Green Action Plan. “Our green spaces need to be protected and well managed, and contribute to the development of Metro Vancouver’s Regional Biodiversity Strategy,” said Barnes. “This includes attracting and sustaining songbirds, and the protection and recovery of endangered species and their ecosystems.”

Woodcock and Barnes hope that the City of Vancouver and Park Board will make World Migratory Bird Day an annual celebration.

For more information visit World Migratory Bird Day on Facebook.

Park Board Commissioners Barnes and Woodcock mark World Migratory Bird Day