It's forever this time: Vote for City of Vancouver official bird

The City of Vancouver wants you to help choose an official city bird — and this time, it will be permanent.

For the past three years, the city has held a vote for an official bird, and chosen the peregrine falcon, black-capped chickadee, and northwestern crow.

But each only held the perch for a year.

Now the city is asking residents cast their votes by May 14, 2017 for a long-term avian ambassador. Here are the candidates:

- Anna's hummingbird: jewel-like, fiercely territorial hummingbird of the Pacific coast.

- Northern Flicker: large, handsome woodpecker with "stylish polka-dots" and flashy orange.

- Spotted Towhee: peaceful but sociable bird found hunting for seeds and berries in shrubs.

- Varied Thrush: "mellow and contemplative" songbird with a bright orange coat.

"It was a really hard process but we landed on four birds," said Angela Danyluk, a sustainability specialist with the city who is running the contest.

That process began with the public, and 1,300 Vancouverites submitting words they felt reflect the qualities of the city.

Then, bird experts chose the four candidates, looking for "specifically West Coast of Vancouver" birds.

"They all have really different personalities that we think mirror our citizens and the community of Vancouver," said Danyluk.

Though she's running the contest, she has a favourite.

"I'm rooting for the Northern Flicker," she admits. "Its kind of showy, but it can also kind of blend in when it's grey in Vancouver, but it's also industrious and knows how to be creative."

In the past, 700,000 people have voted in the online surveys, and Danyluk expects the same or more "because the stakes are pretty high this time."

You can cast your ballot online with the City of Vancouver.

With files from CBC's Deborah Goble