City of Windsor Announces Official Bird and Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island Launches Birding Guide
The City of Windsor teamed up with Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island (TWEPI) to kick off birding season in Windsor Essex at the Ojibway Prairie Complex with two special announcements.
The Official Bird for the City of Windsor - Tufted Titmouse
The City of Windsor announced the Tufted Titmouse as the city’s Official Bird. Windsor was recently named Canada’s 16th Bird-Friendly City by Nature Canada, receiving the important designation for implementing bird-friendly policies and actions to help birds thrive in the city.
The Tufted Titmouse is a unique songbird with strong ties to oak woodland and oak savanna. As such, Windsor is one of the few places in Canada that this very social and vocal bird can call home. In Canada, this bird is only found in Southern Ontario. They make their nests in natural holes and cavities left by woodpeckers. These birds can be found in the oak woodland natural areas that are unique to Windsor, such as Optimist Memorial Park and the Ojibway Prairie Complex.
As part of TWEPI’s annual Best of Windsor Essex Awards process this year, residents nominated and voted on five finalists. The Tufted Titmouse scored high with residents and received City support from Parks due to it being unique to the community, and it beat out the Peregrine Falcon, Common Nighthawk, Black-capped Chickadee, and the Northern Cardinal.
Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island’s New Birding Guide
TWEPI was on hand to launch the new Birding Guide – the premier resource for birding in Windsor and Essex County, from the avid birder to the amateur. In the guide, visitors and locals alike can learn more about why we are a birding migration mecca, which species they can see, and where to spot them as they explore our destination throughout the year. In addition, the guide also profiles birding all season long, monarch butterfly season, and birding-inspired gifts to purchase as you explore our natural areas.
The guide is created in consultation with TWEPI’s partners at Ojibway Nature Centre, Essex Region Conservation Authority, Pelee Island Bird Observatory and Parks Canada. A digital edition of the Birding Guide is available at www.visitwindsoressex.com/birding.
“I am proud to see Windsor designated as a Bird Friendly City in partnership with Nature Canada and Pelee Island Bird Observatory, and excited to announce the Tufted Titmouse as our Official City Bird. As Windsor continues on the path to working with upper levels of government and stakeholders to create the Ojibway National Urban Park, it is more important than ever to highlight some of the animal and plant species, including the Tufted Titmouse, that make this area incredibly unique to this region, and in Canada. Proclaiming Windsor as Bird Friendly City is a great boost for us, with economic and ecotourism potential, while positioning us alongside cities like Toronto, Vancouver, Hamilton, Guelph and London. I look forward to the positive impacts this initiative will continue to have in Windsor and across Essex County.”
- Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens
“Windsor Essex is renowned as a hotspot for birding enthusiasts, and in turn, we are delighted to provide nature lovers with great content and imagery through our Birding Guide. We are happy to play a role in helping the City of Windsor name their Official City Bird, the Tufted Titmouse, as voted through our 8th Annual Best of Windsor Essex Awards, as part of the City being named a Bird-Friendly City by Nature Canada. The Tufted Titmouse, a songbird often spotted at Ojibway Park and other nature centres, is prominently featured on the cover of this year’s guide, and through this initiative, we look forward to drawing more visitation to the area from outdoor aficionados, including our fine feathered friends. Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island looks forward to playing an integral role with community partners in promoting the unique migratory species who seasonally make our destination their home, and raising awareness amongst locals and visitors on how to be a backyard birder in YQG.”
- Gordon Orr, Chief Executive Officer, Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island
“In the city of Windsor, nature is everywhere. The Parks Department proudly invites residents and visitors, including bird enthusiasts, to experience over 200 parks and 170-plus kilometres of multi-use trails, plus over 2,500 acres of greenspace. We were grateful to work with our partners at Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island, the Pelee Island Bird Observatory, and Nature Canada to acknowledge what we’re doing well, and where we can do more. We agree that healthy bird populations are of critical importance to biodiversity and ecosystem health, and see the creation of the Ojibway National Urban Park as an important step in improving bird habitat in Windsor, among many other benefits. We look forward to continued collaboration on events and initiatives, and to highlighting and celebrating the Tufted Titmouse as we continue to promote bird awareness and habitat protection through our efforts at the Ojibway Prairie Complex, Peche Island, and throughout the community.”
- James Chacko, Executive Director, Parks and Facilities, City of Windsor
"Birds connect us all to nature, no matter where we may live. As indicator species, they play an essential role in maintaining healthy and resilient ecosystems. The Tufted Titmouse's range has been expanding across Southern Ontario, and as such they remind us of the importance of urban bird stewardship, monitoring, and awareness. Congratulations to the Bird Friendly Windsor team, Pelee Island Bird Observatory, the City of Windsor, Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island, and all other partners involved in this exciting project to announce Windsor's Official City Bird alongside an outstanding Birding Guide, which will serve as a cornerstone to connect community members closer to the nature around them. Nature Canada believes this is the first step in working towards protecting, defending, and restoring nature.”
- Autumn Jordan, Urban Nature Organizer, Nature Canada
“As proud residents of Windsor and Essex County, and as bird lovers, we know that our city and surrounding county feature some of the most diverse and critical bird habitat, and the best birding around! Windsor has made amazing strides toward becoming a cleaner, greener, healthier, and more sustainable place to live. Our Bird Friendly City designation allows us to showcase these efforts, and to help do the same for birds and other wildlife. It’s fantastic to see the Tufted Titmouse emerge as the city’s official bird.”
- Suzanne Friemann, Executive Director,
and Jennifer Nantais, Pelee Island Bird Observatory