Western Sandpipers require clean intertidal habitats in estuaries to gain the strength for their transcontinental migration journeys. They slurp biofilm from mud flats rich with bacteria and diatoms. (Kurlene Wenberg photo)
Western Sandpipers slurp biofilm from mud flats rich with bacteria and diatoms. (Kurlene Wenberg photo)

Western Sandpipers require clean intertidal habitats in estuaries to gain the strength for their transcontinental migration journeys. They slurp biofilm from mud flats rich with bacteria and diatoms. (Kurlene Wenberg photo) Western Sandpipers slurp biofilm from mud flats rich with bacteria and diatoms. (Kurlene Wenberg photo)

Saanich certified as ‘bird-friendly’ city by feds

City recognized for efforts to protect bird habitat

Saanich is for the birds.

At least according to the federal government, which announced Saanich as one of 14 new Canadian cities certified as a “bird-friendly city.”

This certification was developed by Nature Canada to encourage municipalities to become safer places for birds.

The program was made possible by a $655,000 grant from Environment and Climate Change Canada.

“Birds play an essential role in maintaining healthy ecosystems in our communities,” said – said Graham Saul, executive director, Nature Canada, in a statement.

“There are three billion fewer birds in North America today than 50 years ago. We appreciate the work and leadership represented in the cities and towns being celebrated today. ‘Bird-friendly city’ certification is more than just a piece of paper. It’s a commitment to building a nature-positive world together, and we are honoured to work with the municipalities to achieve that vision.”

The certification program encourages communities to take action to reduce the number of human-caused threats to birds, such as stray cats, pesticide use, and bird collisions in windows through the use of window treatments in buildings with large windows.

The program also has cities creating safe environments for birds by promoting stewardship and ensuring that natural habitats are protected and restored.

RELATED: Federal report deems dogs the greatest risk to migratory birds

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