Seattle Names Great Blue Heron
Resolution follows popular contest to name
SEATTLE—The City Council
today unanimously passed, and Mayor Greg Nickels signed, a resolution
designating the Great Blue Heron as the "Official Bird of Seattle,"
culminating a yearlong campaign and public contest sponsored by the Seattle
"The citizens have spoken and have selected the Great
Blue Heron as the bird that best encompasses the essence of our Emerald City. I
couldn’t agree more," said Nickels as he signed the official designation.
Votes for the Great Blue Heron outnumbered the second
place finisher, the ubiquitous American Crow, two-to-one. The Northern Flicker,
Seattle’s most plentiful woodpecker, finished the contest in third place.
Honorable mentions include the "Seattle Wren," a sub species of the
Bewick’s wren; the Osprey, a bird of prey also known as a seahawk; and the
Wilson’s Warbler, a migratory songbird that benefits from shade-grown coffee.
"The Great Blue Heron is majestic and beautiful, like
our city," said Council President Peter Steinbrueck, who introduced the
resolution. "This official bird designation will enhance awareness of the
need to protect heron habitat, and many natural areas, in order to continue to
enjoy these and other wonderful birds. They will only survive here if we protect
the natural places that make the Seattle area a great place to live."
While the official bird designation does not confer
additional regulatory protection, supporters of the official bird designation
hope it will raise public consciousness of urban nature and foster stewardship
for the Great Blue Heron and its habitat.
"Seattle citizens made a great choice by voting for
the Great Blue Heron as our official bird," said Lauren Braden, Advocate
for Wildlife at Seattle Audubon. "Seattle provides important habitat for
this species--forests for nesting and water for foraging. Seattleites see herons
flying overhead in many Seattle neighborhoods, and especially near Discovery
Park, where our largest nesting colony resides at Kiwanis Ravine."
Seattle Audubon launched the "Official Bird of
Seattle" campaign in October 2002 with ballots handed out at nature
centers, City parks and in school classrooms. For more information about the
campaign and the species of birds nominated, please visit www.seattleaudubon.org.
Founded in 1916, Seattle Audubon Society is Seattle’s
oldest conservation organization. Seattle Audubon’s mission is to protect
birds and the natural environment by involving volunteers and the community in
education, advocacy, preservation, science and enjoyment. With a membership of
5,500 and more than 700 volunteers, Seattle Audubon is one of the largest
chapters of the National Audubon Society. Seattle Audubon is an independent
Seattle City Council