Gray Jay

Perisoreus canadensis

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Code 4

GRAJ

Code 6

PERCAN

ITIS

Egg Color:

White to olive with olive and brown marks



Number of Eggs:

2 - 5



Incubation Days:

16 - 18



Egg Incubator:

Female



Nest Location:

4 - 30 feet above the ground.



Nest Material:

Lined with moss, grass, sticks, bark, feathers, and fur., Fastened together with spider webs and insect cocoons.



Migration:

Nonmigratory



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General

Gray Jay: Medium-sized, fluffy, crestless jay with gray upperparts, paler underparts, and a short bill. Tail is long and white-tipped. Three distinguishable populations occur: Pacific, Rocky Mountain, and Taiga. All have black eyes, bills, legs and feet, and white ear patches and throats. Juvenile is gray overall with white moustache stripe and gray bill.

Range and Habitat

Gray Jay: Found from tree line in northern Canada and Alaska south through boreal and subalpine forests to northern California on the west coast, Arizona and New Mexico in the Rocky Mountains, northern Wisconsin in the Midwest, and New York in the east. Found in coniferous and coniferous-deciduous forests.

Breeding and Nesting

Gray Jay: Two to five white to olive eggs, spotted with olive and brown, are laid in a solid bowl of twigs and bark strips, lined with feathers and fur, and built near the trunk of a dense conifer. Incubation ranges from 16 to 18 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Gray Jay: Eats arthropods, berries, carrion, bird eggs and young, and fungi. Forages in trees, shrubs, and on the ground; chases insects in the air.

Readily Eats

Suet, Nuts, Sunflower

Vocalization

Gray Jay: Emits "whee-ah" and "chuck-chuck"; also gives scolding screams and whistles.

Similar Species

Gray Jay: Clark's Nutcracker is chunkier and has medium gray upperparts and underparts and a short white tail with black central feathers.

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X