Sunday, December 11, 2016

Trouble Up North

Down in America, we tend to think of Canada as a peaceful place. But we're mistaken. There's a war raging up North. A battle pitting Canadian against Canadian, brother against brother. A conflict that shows no sign of resolution.

The fight is over the National Bird of Canada.

Canada has many national symbols  (e.g., maple leaf, beaver) but no national bird. Recognizing this gap, the country embarked on a mission to select one. A year ago, they surveyed Canadians and the population responded. The top three choices were the loon, snowy owl and grey jay. Unfortunately the loon and snowy owl aren't available because they're already official symbols for two provinces. Which leaves the grey jay as the backup choice.

But many oppose the grey jay. They say they've never seen one, which is true. The vast majority of Canada's human population live near its southern border with the U.S. The grey jay inhabits the northern area of Canada. Not only have most Canadians never seen a grey jay, they've never heard of one. How can something be chosen as a symbol of your country if you've never heard of it?

Worst of all is its spelling. Canadians are fussy about spelling. Certain words are spelled differently there and Canadians resent Americanized versions. In Canada, grey is spelled "gray"; they view "grey" as American imperialism.

The grey jay acquired the spelling of its name from a non-Canadian international avian organization. Canadians question why they should accept a decision from a non-Canadian body.

Arguing against the opposition are people who say the grey jay is a lovely bird which lives in Canada year-round. Unlike most birds, it never migrates outside the country. And they add that just because you don't know the bird now doesn't mean you won't love it later. Finally, its supporters admit there are no other good alternatives. One expert described the Canada goose as an unholy "pooping machine."

The poll on this subject was open for a year. It ended in August, then a team of expert convened. Last month they announced their decision that the grey jay is now the National Bird of Canada. If Canadians weren't such nice, peaceful people, riots would have erupted and cars would have been overturned. Instead, they're mostly grumbling into their beers and talking about moving to the U.S. It's social turmoil with no end in sight.


  1. A nice bird, a shame its become the focus of debate.

  2. How interesting!!!! Poor little unwanted Jay.x

  3. Hahahaha! This is the first I've heard of it and Toronto is the centre of the universe. (Canadian joke.)

    And no, I've never seen one or even knew of its existence and I've lived in six provinces and visited ten.

    Canadian Geese are symbols of Canada though. I think they should have gone with that. Haven't they read the book, "Everyone Poops"?


  4. I'm shocked that Canada geese are not the national bird, although (as Suzanne noted) they poop a lot and are often angry and will chase you if you get too close (unlike most Canadian people).

  5. Alas, my vote was for the chickadee. Familiar with the Canada Jay, however, aka the "gorbie" (I am from New Brunswick). They dwell in deeper woods, but will eat out of your hand. Lovely birds!
    Happy Christmas Ally!

  6. Fascinating! I have to agree with the guy who said that the Canada goose as an unholy "pooping machine." Very true.

  7. I love this post of your dear Ally ... It is interesting to see what gets peoples knickers in a twist.

    I think the Gray Jay is absolutely beautiful!!!

  8. The gray jay is also known as the Whiskey Jack! I like this name, but was told it is a corruption of the aboriginal name of the bird.

  9. LOL I didn't know anything about this beautiful lovely ! Thank you for the kind words you wrote the other day :) I value your friendship very much...

    Fashion and Cookies - fashion and beauty blog

  10. So crazy! Never would have thought this was happening. The more you know...


  11. Ha! Can you imagine if Canadians left their way of life and headed to the US on account of a... bird?! I guess stranger things have happened (and hey, if they want to commiserate with us about all the other issues we have happening, more power to them!). I really miss all things CA. I would love to visit (and have yet to see any of these birds in person but the snowy owl is BEAUTIFUL!).


  12. Haha, cars being overthrown over a bird - not in a million years! :-D


  13. The Gray Jay works for me! Have you got two loonies for toonie? Hahaha. Yep seems the whole globe wants to move to Canada.

    Allie of

  14. Oh my goodness! Haha. I had no idea Canada was experiencing such turmoil. ;) I loved this little line, haha: "One expert described the Canada goose as an unholy "pooping machine." So true! Haha.

  15. What a pretty bird, I am sure they will come to love it. What a sly metaphor to American culture wars! Ah, I love Canada, and it looks better every day!
    xx, Elle