Wings of democracy

Kudos and Kvetches

In case you missed it, the Black-capped Chickadee has been named Vancouver’s “official” City Bird for 2015 Bird Week. In your smug little pointed face, Northern Flicker.

The avian crown was placed atop the Black-capped Chickadee’s oversized round head after four weeks of intense competition, social media shenanigans that included Twitter accounts set up for all six bird entries and a whopping 704,000 votes cast, eclipsing the voter turnout at the 2011 Vancouver civic election, which garnered a scant 144,823 votes out of 418,878 registered voters, which we’ll remind you is even less than the number of “eligible” voters. So hooray for democracy.

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Of course, those who partook in Vancouver’s bird election could vote for their favourite winged crusader repeatedly, likely while still wearing their bathrobe at 3 in the afternoon. And the city maintains the exercise was a “lighthearted competition aimed to raise awareness about the importance of birds in Vancouver, as they are visible markers of a healthy ecosystem and an experiential link between people and local biodiversity.”

But that still doesn’t excuse the fact that a good chunk of those who voted for the Black-capped Chickadee probably won’t bother voting in the upcoming municipal election on Nov. 15 because it’s not as “fun” as voting for birds that you can follow on Twitter. To say nothing of the fact that the Pileated Woodpecker was totally robbed. Just saying.

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