Monday, February 04, 2008

Gray Jay, aka: Canada Jay

This gray and white bird, one of the smallest
jays, is a bird found in our coniferous forests all year round. I see it most frequently in the wintertime when I am driving through wooded roads, and often observe it flying from one side of the road to the other. In my research this morning I was surprised to learn that this species will soon be at work nest building. The Gray Jay will build a new nest in February or early March over a three week period. After its completion the female will lay from two to five pale, green, speckled eggs and then sit upon them, sometimes in snow covered surroundings.

A bird of many names, this Gray Jay also is known as the Whiskey Jack, a Canada Jay, and Camp Robber. The name 'Camp Robber', being derived from its habit of hanging around wood's camps and helping itself to any available food it might find there. Here in New Brunswick this jay is commonly referred to as a Gorby or Moosebird.

To view more photos of a Gray Jay please use the search blank located at the upper left of this page. By entering the name,' Gray Jay' in the space provided, you will locate other postings of this bird.


Mary said...

What a beautiful bird! I wish they came further south. I like all the descriptive names it has. Do you know why it is called a Whiskey Jack or a Gorby or a Moosebird? That's a real variety!

me and my camera said...

Mary, there's a nice explaination on this url:

telling of the origin of the name Wiskey Jack. The origin of Moosebird and Gorby, I'm not so sure of. And I agree with you, its a beautiful looking bird.

Birdnerd said...

I don't oftenget to see Gray Jays but am always surprised by their relative silence compared to their kin. I practically walked into the first one I ever saw as it simply sat still and contemplated me and my likelihood to provide food. Great photos all around your blog....hadn't checked in recently so had lots to read.