Common Bird Species of Northwestern Ontario





Perisoreus canadensis
Gray Jay
"Whiskey Jack"


Distinguishing Features - Slightly smaller than a Blue Jay. Loose and fluffy plumage of various shades of gray. White head and throat; blackish cap at the back of head wrapping around to encircle the eyes; back, wings and tail, slate colour; feathers at tips of wings and tail white; belly grey, fading to near-white toward tail; beak and legs black. Male and female indistinguishable but female is slightly smaller.

Gray Jay Size - 27.5 - 30.5 cm (11 - 12.25 in).


Mixed and coniferous stands, clearings, swampy areas.


Most often in coniferous trees. Nest consists of sticks, bark, moss, pine needles, grasses and leaves; lined with grass, feathers and pine needles. Eggs, usually 2 - 6; grayish, uniformly dotted with olive-buff spots. Incubation period 16 - 18 days.


The Gray Jay is a frequent visitor to campgrounds and is notorious for begging for scraps from the picnic table. Its song varies from a harsh chatter to soft chuckles, or a Quee-oo whistle.

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