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Canada

Birds

Canadian skies are home to 462 bird species, with BC and Ontario boasting the greatest diversity. The most famous feathered resident is the common loon, Canada’s national bird. It’s a waterbird whose mournful yet beautiful call often rings out across quiet backcountry lakes early or late in the day. The great blue heron, one of the country’s largest birds, is a timid fellow that’s an amazing sight on take-off.

What’s all the flap about? Well, if you’re a Canada goose, it can be up to 1000km a day. Flying in their distinctive V formation, some of these geese have made the trip from northern Québec to the USA in a single day! Now that’s something to crow about…

If Canada’s seabirds ever got together and held a popularity contest, the puffin would win hands (wings?) down. Everyone loves these cute little guys, a sort of waddling penguin-meets-parrot cross, with black-and-white feathers and an orange beak. They hang out in the Atlantic provinces, especially Newfoundland.

The true ruler of the sky, though, is the bald eagle, whose wingspan can reach more than 2m. It was Canadian banker Charles Broley who first connected the dots between DDT and the plummeting population of these regal birds. That was in the late 1940s, and things have been looking way up since then.