This is a Whiskey Jack taken this morning in my yard. It wasn’t afraid of me so I was able to get a few good shots.
Ste. Rita, Manitoba, Canada
Canon EOS 50D; 150-500mm Sigma lens
March 31, 2012
March 8, 2012
March 5, 2012
The Grey Jay (Perisoreus canadensis), also Gray Jay in the US, Canada Jay, or Whiskey Jack, is a member of the crow and jay family (Corvidae) found in the boreal forests across North America north to the tree-line and in subalpine forests of the Rocky Mountains south to New Mexico and Arizona.
All three species store food and live year-round on permanent territories in coniferous forests.
The vast majority of Grey Jays live where there is a strong presence of one or more of black spruce (Picea mariana), white spruce (P. glauca), Englemann spruce (P. engelmanni), jack pine (Pinus banksiana), or lodgepole pine (P. contorta). Grey Jays do not inhabit the snowy, coniferous, and therefore seemingly appropriate Sierra Nevada of California where no spruce and neither of the two named pines occur. Nor do Grey Jays live in lower elevations of coastal Alaska or British Columbia dominated by Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis). The key habitat requirements may be sufficiently cold temperatures to ensure successful storage of perishable food and tree bark with sufficiently pliable scales arranged in a shingle-like configuration that allows Grey Jays to wedge food items easily up into dry, concealed storage locations. Storage may also be assisted by the antibacterial properties of the bark and foliage of boreal tree species. An exception to this general picture may be the well-marked subspecies P. c. obscurus, once given separate specific status as the “Oregon Jay”. It lives right down to the coast from Washington to northern California in the absence of cold temperatures or the putatively necessary tree species.
Grey Jays typically breed at 2 years of age. Pairs are monogamous and remain together for their lifetime, but a male or female will find another mate following the disappearance or death of their partner. Grey Jay pairs breed during March and April, depending on latitude,in permanent, all-purpose territories. Second broods are not attempted, perhaps allowing greater time for food storage.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gray_Jay) for more very interesting information on this lovely bird