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Dining on small fish, the loon is neither a razor clawed killer nor a scavenger (take that, advocates of the snowy owl and raven). And its chicks can swim immediately after they hatch, although they prefer riding on a parent back. (A habit familiar to countless Canadians with 20 something kids.)

a quintessentially Canadian bird

All in all, it an estimable creature.

It can be found in much of Canada, features striking black and white plumage, and has notable traits apart from its call, such as solid bones (unlike most other fowl) and an ability to dive as deep as 80 metres.

Cue its mournful call and hail the common loon.

Unlike those countries and scores of others, Canada has no national bird. Thankfully, The Royal Canadian Geographic Society has launched a determined effort to change that in time for the country 150th birthday next year. Five avian finalists have been selected, but one soars above all others as the most fitting feathered symbol of this land.

No wonder the loon topped a recent survey by Women Canada Goose Kensington Parka Navy Australia Shop the geographic society asking people to select a national bird. With almost 50,000 votes cast, and close to 13,000 essays submitted, the loon was chosen by 13,995 respondents. In second spot was the snowy owl, with almost 9,000 votes. The other top five finalists are the Canada goose, the gray jay (or whiskey jack), and the black capped chickadee. In other words, a pest and two rather commonplace specimens.

The obvious solution is to declare the loon Canada official avian avatar. Yes, it Ontario provincial bird but, in keeping with our traditional role in Confederation, we don mind sharing.

Quebec has already named the snowy owl as its provincial bird and, according to The Canadian Press, there concern in La belle province that Canada might be with its avian symbol. Heaven forbid.