British Columbia

Anna's hummingbird named Vancouver's permanent city bird

Vancouver has elected its city bird after an online election. Don't worry: this vote will not come down to recounts or absentee ballots.

City describes hummingbird as 'classy, urbane, and stylish with the heart of a tiger'

Vancouver residents, meet your new city bird: Anna's hummingbird. (Michelle Lamberson)

Results from the most important election held in B.C. this year have been announced: Anna's hummingbird has been named the City of Vancouver's official bird following an online vote.

Anna's hummingbird beat out the northern flicker, spotted towhee and varied thrush for the title, taking 42 per cent of the vote.

"Very decisive victory over the northern flicker, which came in second," Councillor. Andrea Reimer told On The Coast host Stephen Quinn.

"The election period was only three weeks long, and that favours speed, and the hummingbird has a decisive advantage in that kind of campaign."

The city says the hummingbird's role will be to symbolize the ecological importance of birds, build awareness of birds in Vancouver and "encourage implementation" of the Vancouver Bird Strategy.

The candidates in the Vancouver bird election (clockwise, starting top left): spotted towhee, Anna's hummingbird, northern flicker and varied thrush. (David Komljenovic, Gord Gadsen, Kimosdad, John Hamil)

"One of the benefits of having a city bird is allowing artists, communities and different businesses and other organizations the opportunity to use it as part of the way they're promoting their relationship with nature," Reimer said.

In previous years, the city bird was elected every year for a one-year term. By winning this election, the Anna's hummingbird has earned the title in perpetuity, succeeding the peregrine falcon.

Reimer says having the rotating mascot made it hard for businesses and others to use a bird in their visual identity which is why this election's result will be permanent.

The Anna's hummingbird is described as "classy, urbane, and stylish with the heart of a tiger."

"With their iridescent emerald feathers and sparkling rose-pink throats, Anna's hummingbird are more like flying jewelry than birds, but they are also fierce defenders and enforce their turf with tenacity," says a city statement.

"Their housing needs are modest and Anna's Hummingbirds could easily live in the potted plant in any Vancouver neighbourhood."

There were 8,259 votes cast online in the city bird election in 2017.

With files from CBC Radio One's On The Coast