What The Mom doesn’t know is that I have a lot of bird-nerd pals from home who were posting about this very election on Facebook. I was going to vote myself, but then, typically forgot. As an aside, please rest assured that when I am afforded the opportunity to vote in an election for government-type things or the EU referendum, I do not forget to vote.
Though, it was a difficult decision to make. All the birds have such merit! I think my favourite would’ve been, much to The Mom’s great surprise, the loon. To me, this is Canada. Well, at least it’s my part of Canada, which is maybe why it didn’t win. On the Tragically Hip track Wheat Kings starts with the cry of the loon, and I remember as a child in school learning about the Native Canadian story of how the loon got her necklace. The loon is unique in my view, I’ve never seen anything quite like this beautiful bird and there’s something quite mysterious about her too.
Though, The Mom is right, I do love an owl. But I don’t know if I’d want Canada’s national bird to be an owl. It seems a bit fashionable just now, and I worry that people might get the wrong idea and try to make pets of them. Which is certainly nothing I would ever try. Honestly. No seriously, I read a book recently about a man who kept an own in his flat in Croydon and though they had some happy times, I think an owl would be much happier doing its own thing outside.
The funny thing is, I never even knew about the Gray Jay. I also didn’t know that you could spell Grey with an a.
What I liked most about this little story is that I recently, on Facebook (I know, I know) saw a little meme about it. If you have any Canadian friends you’ll probably have seen similar. Essentially they work by listing a bunch of stuff that’s going on in the world that’s awful, atrocious, terrible, and then say something like, Meanwhile, back in Canada and have a funny phrase or picture that shows Canada off as a very peaceful nation that generally loves everybody and just gets on with things. This particular meme was about the recent American election. It was something to the effect that, look at all the craziness and protests and anger about this election. Hey, what’s going on in Canada? Oh, they’re having a bit of a tiff over a national bird.
It’s the sort of thing that in a lot of ways makes me proud to be Canadian, but in some ways makes me think that most of the rest of the world really has no idea what we’re up to. Which normally I’m okay with – if we keep our heads down we can just continue to get worked up over things like birds instead of having a leader who is three kinds of bad and four kinds of wrong. It’s true, we don’t have the same problems America does, and the ones we do have (there is talk of an MP in Alberta I believe who’s making a lot of Trump-like noises, but I think Newfoundland and Labrador have just recently shunned her so that’s encouraging) aren’t getting the attention that Trump did.
But I do like the industriousness of this Grey Jay. And I think being able to find the food you left in the middle of a blizzard is a skill that everyone should have. Though, I’ve never had to go out in search of actual food in a bad storm and PJs, I have gone in search of coffee and let me tell you, I hope the Grey Jay gets a much better reception than I did. Because those Starbucks employees and the Yummy Mummies that were there at that ungodly hour of the day were not pleased to see me.