A Bird in the Hand

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A Gray Jay seen and fed in Algonquin Park. What a surprise that these beautiful birds would actually trust us enough to eat from our hand! It was our first time seeing them as it is a northern bird. The Gray Jay survives the winter by storing insects, berries and pieces of meat or mushrooms all over its territory during summer and fall. Food storage is central to the survival of Gray Jays. They even nest in March so that the young will fledge that much earlier and have a head start on amassing the food stores they will need to get through their first winter.
Most of all, Gray Jays are extraordinarily quick to learn abouot any possible new source of storable food, and this accounts for their famous “friendliness” to human beings. You can’t travel very long in Algonquin Park, at least during the cold season, without being found by a pair of Gray Jays who obviously expect a hand-out.

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