Monday, December 15, 2008

Gray Jays Continued

Yesterday I had posted some pictures of a Gray Jay I had seen along the highway this past weekend. From comments left by some viewers I realize that this is a bird not commonly viewed by many so I have included a couple of previous posts made in February '08 which includes a bit more information about this very interesting forest jay.

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 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.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Two Gray Jays Feeding Along the Roadside


This perky looking, not so shy, Gray Jay, looks as delighted to have found this food as I was delighted to have found them. Swooping in from the trees on both sides of the road; these gregarious, boreal forest birds delved into this tasty treat of bread slices that some kind passerby had thrown onto the roadside. And as soon as their beaks were full, they would return to the trees lining the roadside. Gray Jays store large amounts of food by 'gluing' particles to tree branches with the sticky saliva found in their beaks. At this time of year, late February or early March, this species is preparing to begin nesting and large amounts of stored food provide a much needed food source for them during this winter brooding period. Each time I saw one of the jays fly off with food in their mouths I couldn't help but visualize them 'gluing' the bread pieces to the tree branches above, for they were soon back again for more.
A Gray Jay along the roadside.

17 comments:

Sharon said...

Wow...great shots. Those little birdies are hard to capture with a camera. I wish that I had a camera connected to my eyes, so when I saw something I wanted to capture, all I had to do was blink my eyes. I'm always thinking about the shot that got away.

gina said...

these are great! i've never seen a this lil jay before. very pretty. i never have any luck getting birds to pose for me. good job.

dAwN said...

Thanks for all the great information on these birds..I have never seen them and it was great to see all the different shots.

Deborah Godin said...

Thanks for that great info! I didn't know about the storing food thing. Wouldn't that be a real stumper, to come across strange little bumps on a tree in winter. I doubt that "birdspit" would have been my first guess!

madcobug said...

That was very interesting. You have some great shots of that bird. Thanks for sharing. Helen

Carla said...

What beautiful birds!

bobbie said...

He is standing on his food. How rude.
Seriously, this is a wonderful series. Isn't it interesting that he/she starts building the nest so early.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Thanks for these lovely pictures and the info.It has been years since I have seen a Grey Jay.
Blessings,Ruth

People with Cameras said...

Oh what beautiful photos!

Tina said...

Thank you so much for all that great info. I am one who has never seen a gray jay and love all your pictures of them. They look like such sweet birds..are they as loud and squawking as our blue jays?

Becky and Gary said...

Gorgeous pictures Ann. This is such a pretty little bird. Thanks for all the information too.
B.

Mary said...

I love this jay! It's color and markings are so pretty. Send one down here to me :-)

ramblingwoods said...

Great photos and info on the jays that I didn't know...

Pam Croom said...

The photo of the jay launching itself if priceless!!

Kathiesbirds said...

I saw my first gray jay in Yellowstone Park, Wyoming in 1987. I had no idea they came this far east! Love the sweet face of the one eating bread beside the road.

Geraldine said...

These are some wonderful pics Ann, you have such talent! I love the last one the best.

Julie said...

Great pictures! I think the bird is standing on the bread to warm up his little feet!