Canadian Election — For National Bird — Ends In Surprise02:56
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A gray jay sits on the tips of skis in Avon, Colo., in December 2006. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
A gray jay sits on the tips of skis in Avon, Colo., in December 2006. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
This article is more than 2 years old.

As Americans absorb the results of last week's election, our northern neighbors have their own electoral surprise to contend with. After nearly 50,000 online votes for the Canadian national bird were tallied, the snowy owl and the loon received the largest amount of popular votes.

But much debate and a panel of experts led the Royal Canadian Geographical Society to choose the gray jay as the national bird of the country instead — though the government hasn't made that official yet.

Here & Now's Robin Young speaks with David Bird, an ornithologist and McGill University emeritus professor, about why the gray jay symbolizes the Canadian spirit.

This segment aired on November 17, 2016.

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