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By Andrés Jiménez, Urban Program Coordinator, Birds Canada


Our plans might be on pause, but birds are not. During May, you can celebrate birds from home with webinars, online courses, giveaways, and online resources. 

It was a Friday afternoon in early March, and I was working from home – at that time, by choice. I am the coordinator for the Toronto Bird Celebration, and my primary responsibility is to facilitate 40 live events hosted by 20 dedicated partners. Our team had come up with a colourful and lively celebration of nature to take place during May. You can imagine how busy I was, planning events, securing parks, developing communication strategies, writing press releases, and designing social media memes!

Then the kids got home with a letter from the school saying that school and daycare were cancelled for three weeks. My plans came to a drastic halt, and we needed to adapt immediately. I was confident that people would need the Toronto Bird Celebration more than ever. Our plans might be on pause, but the natural world keeps moving. The soil breathes, the trees bud, and birds fly. The grass will be green again. There is no better reminder of this than birds.

Hence, the Toronto Bird Celebration will face the headwinds with hope, determination, and creativity, like a Ruby-throated Hummingbird crossing the Gulf of México in the face of a tropical storm.

We are working hard to bring you the Toronto Bird Celebration, “take-out” edition. Full disclosure: this might require some experimentation and luck. Nonetheless, we are committed to delivering the joy and hope of birds right to your house, apartment, or condo. One beautiful benefit is that the Greater Toronto Area will open its doors to those looking for hope beyond the GTA. As I write, we are preparing a series of resources, webinars, online courses, and live virtual events that will enable hundreds to fall in love (or deeper in love) with birds.

New for this year, we will bring you the search for “Celebirdies” in Toronto. During May, millions of migrating birds will return to the city – right to your neighbourhood and garden. Celebirdies will dine, stroll, and rest in the lushest corners of the city, and we want to know if you spot them in your area. Follow the #TOBirdParty hashtag on Instagram and Twitter or visit our website to find out which celebirdies can be spotted in the city. Let us know about your GTA findings for your chance win #TOBirdParty prizes, including great Firefly Books and exclusive Fjällräven swag.

The Toronto Bird Celebration, take-out edition will be a reality thanks to the support of amazing “Bird Champions”. TD Friends of the Environment Foundation has helped sustain the Celebration over the past four years, Armstrong Bird Food has stepped up in challenging times, Acart Communications has brought the celebration to new heights, and Pattison Outdoor has supported the Celebration’s growth.

You will find updated information on the event calendar with details on webinars and online events. Plans are evolving, and the website will be updated continuously. Please check it from time to time this May!

Stay well – I hope to see you soon (online!) during the Toronto Bird Celebration, take-out edition.

Ring-billed Gull Photo: Andrés Jiménez

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