Sometime a while ago, we in Ontario selected the Common Loon for our Provincial bird. If I remember correctly, we had school aged children send in suggestions and there was a panel who based their selection on these submissions.

Great choice?

Let’s consider how the Loon lives.

Does not live in Ontario year round.
Ontario forms a part of their summer breeding season only. They do not stay around for the winter.

In effect, they come to our lake country, avoid people, fish, reproduce and disturb the piece and quiet with a piercing, eerie ululate. Finally, when the going gets a little tough they take off.

I was born in Ontario; choose to live in Ontario, and live in Ontario year round. I enjoy our four seasons. Spring for its revival; summer (with the exception of sweltering dog days) for its myriad of activities; fall for its excitement and winter for its cleanliness and conviviality.

I know, there are many who hate the winter and believe that travelling to warm places (as does the loon) is the way to go. There are problems with this.

• Great Canadian winter getaways (Ottawa’s Winterlude, various Ski destinations, etc.) are missed.
• Money earned in Ontario (often subsidized pension money) is spent in a foreign country. A loss for our troubled economy.
• Read “How Bad Are Bananas” for an assessment of the cost of flying.

Unfortunately, too many Ontarioans are like the Loon.

New Brunswick may have gotten it right. They selected the black-capped Chickadee as their Provincial bird. This tough little bird stays year round; doesn’t mind people and has a pleasant vocalization.

Canada doesn’t have a national bird but may. One of the criteria is that the bird chosen isn’t already a Provincial bird. Too bad. I’d have voted for the black-capped Chickadee.

The Plaidneck