We've seen them gliding in our rivers, perching in our trees and soaring through our skies but which should be crowned Canada's bird? 

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society asked for ideas earlier this year. Nearly 50,000 Canadians voted, narrowing down the pool to five finalists.

We'll hear arguments for the common loon, snowy owl, grey jay, Canada goose and black-capped chickadee in a debate at the Canadian Museum of Nature at 7 p.m. tonight.

The geographical society will make its recommendation for Canada's National Bird in the December 2016 issue of Canadian Geographic.

Here's a preview of what you can expect from panelists tonight.

Common loon

Its image on our dollar coin has already given the loon a place in our daily lives — along with the inspiration for a Canada-made word, the loonie. 

It's already the provincial bird of Ontario and was the contest's top finalist, with nearly 14,000 votes.

But does the loon deserve a greater honour as Canada's national bird? Steven Price, the president of Bird Studies Canada thinks so.

National Bird Project

Black-capped chickadee

This little, year-round songbird was crowned the unofficial Bird of Ottawa on CBC Radio's In Town and Out last year. It is also the provincial bird of New Brunswick. But can it win the heart of the entire nation?

George Elliott Clarke, Parliamentary Poet Laureate, will sing the bird's praises in tonight's debate. 

Black-capped chickadee

Snowy owl

This hardy bird summers in the far reaches of the north but heads south in the winter — with a presence in all of Canada's provinces and territories at some point in the year.

Already the provincial bird of Quebec, Alex MacDonald, a senior conservation manager with Nature Canada, argues the snowy owl should represent the entire nation.

Owl Rescued

Grey jay

This bird of many names — also known as the Canada jay and whisky jack — can be found across Canada year-round. Indeed, the bird with a white-tipped tail seeks out cold climates.

David Bird, Professor Emeritus of Wildlife Biology at McGill University, will argue the grey jay deserves the title of Canada's bird.

Gray Jay

Canada goose

It's not hard to find a mother goose parading along with a gaggle of goslings in tow in the spring. In fact, the Canada goose population has "experienced extraordinary growth" in Canada recently as its geographic range has expanded, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Mark Graham, vice-president of research and collections at the Canadian Museum of Nature will make a case to honour this bird with an official title tonight.

VCR Daily Life 20160519 Canada goose

Your vote

Vote for Canada's national bird here.