For Immediate Release: May 12, 2011
Parks Commissioner Loretta Woodcock aims to expand Vancouver bird habitat
May 15 is World Migratory Bird Day and COPE Commissioner Loretta Woodcock envisions our urban forest dripping with birds. Woodcock is putting forward a motion on creating and enhancing bird habitats at the May 16 park board meeting. “If park board staff were to map out bird migration corridors and their feeding and nesting areas we could use this valuable information when redeveloping our city parks and in our planting of trees and plant clusters,” said Woodcock. “This could attract millions of birds and bring more nature into our city.”
Vancouver’s Green Action Plan recognizes the need to protect green and blue natural spaces in order to provide easy access to Nature. By Park Board identifying important bird areas and enhancing our parks and street boulevard plant habitats we would attract millions of birds. Through bird’s dependence on many habitats along their migrations, birds often feel the effects of changing habitats first before many other species. According to Woodcock this makes birds key indicators for the health of our environments, and in turn, through a connection with nature, contributes to the health of city residents. Of the 500 recognized species in British Columbia, Metro Vancouver can boast 407 bird species, more than any other metro area in Canada.
Reknown ornithologist Rob Butler agrees. “A variety of trees, shrubs and herbacious plants will attract a wider variety of bird species than a monoculture,” said Butler. “Knowing the needs of birds means that providing certain plants and arrangements is a way to attract particular birds. We will have birds if we have the habitat.”