Big Bird was seen out on the trails around Yellowknife on Tuesday, making their first public appearance in Yellowknife this year. Photo: My Backyard Tours
If you were on Yellowknife’s trail system near Frame Lake on Tuesday, you may have spotted a familiar, bright yellow and very large feathered friend.
“One thing about me, you know, some of these other birds are quite small, and you need binoculars,” said Big Bird in an interview with Cabin Radio. “I kind-of stand out a bit in a crowd, although it depends on the foliage and where I’m located.”
We tracked down Big Bird after residents reported a sighting on the causeway near the city’s museum. Big Bird said they had stopped in Yellowknife on their migration up north and were making an appearance on a birding tour with My Backyard Tours, a city tour operator.
Big Bird said they like to “be part of the fun” on these birding tours. They enjoy learning about their kin on those tours, and they hope to be able to lead some tours as well.
Right now, they’re keeping their eyes out for bald eagles, swallows, ducks and sparrows in Yellowknife. They’ll also be looking for shyer birds, like the sora, a small waterbird.
Big Bird – they asked to be identified as such, though whether this was the actual Big Bird or a facsimile is beyond Cabin Radio’s birding abilities – said they made their Yellowknife debut during the initial Covid-19 lockdown to lift spirits. From that point onward, Big Bird has made multiple visits to the city, often in the winter and around Easter.
Big Bird said they plan to stay in Yellowknife for May and June. From here, they will fly farther north, where they will remain until late August or September.
“I really like the city of Yellowknife,” said Big Bird. “The environment, the pristine conditions, and the people here – they’re welcoming, friendly.”
They said it is important for them to visit Yellowknife at least once a year.
My Backyard Tours is for sale but Big Bird said they plan to continue attending tours when a new owner is established.
With the nice weather this week, Yellowknifers may see Big Bird on the trails around town and along the water.
“I do tend to hunker down in unfavourable conditions like rain. I bed down, find a nest,” they said.
“Over this next week or two, it looks tremendous. So, no doubt I’ll be out again.”
If you see Big Bird, you’re welcome to say hello.
“I think I’m photogenic and love to take photos with people,” said Big Bird. “Definitely come on by and say hi.”