You see them every day – cawing, gliding and eyeing you suspiciously as you walk by.
Now you can get to know them a little better.
Crows take the spotlight at the second annual Crow Night at Vancouver Central Library on May 9, an evening dedicated to the bringing one of the city’s most common birds out of the shadows.
Crow specialist Dr. Rob Butler will lead the event, sharing stories and anecdotes from his four decades of studying birds. He’ll be joined by Vancouver’s own award-winning “crow-cumentarian” Mike McKinlay, who will show his film Crows. The short film, which debuted on the Knowledge Network, follows a group of crows that roost in Burnaby, B.C. (You can see the film on Vimeo here).
Crow Night is one of a series of free events held as part of Vancouver’s Bird Week, May 3-May 10. Strategically positioned along the Pacific Flyway, Vancouver is visited by as many as 1 billion birds a year. Great blue herons, bald eagles, snowy owls, snow geese and hundreds of other species from around the globe pass through the city.
A total of ten different bird-themed events are being held throughout the week at community centres, libraries and parks across the city. Bird nerds can brush up on their know-how at a series of lectures at the Stanley Park Ecological Society on topics ranging from the state of marine birds in Burrard Inlet to raptor identification. Aspiring artists can pop in on bird-drawing workshops at Hillcrest Community Centre. Meanwhile, on Saturday, May 10, expert birders will be leading one-two hour bird walks at eight different Vancouver Parks.
Vancouver’s Bird Week culminates with a presentation on Why Birds Matter at Central Library on Saturday, May 10. During the presentation, the winning bird in the City Bird competition is set to be announced. Currently, six candidates – an Anna’s Hummingbird, black-capped chickadee, varied thrush, Pacific wren, pileated woodpecker and northern flicker - are vying for the coveted title. You can vote for your favourite online at the City of Vancouver website. (As of last Friday, the hummingbird was leading the flock with 39 percent of the vote).
Sadly, no crows are running for the City Bird title. But it’s not too late to start a write-in campaign. Crow Night is Friday, May 9, from 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. at the Vancouver Central Library (Alice McKay Room on the lower level). All guests at Crow Night are encouraged to dress in black.
Would you choose a crow as Vancouver’s city bird? Let us know below.
Follow me on Twitter @RemyScalza.