Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gray Jay Nesting Season


Gray Jays are known to be very tame and like Black-capped Chickadees, will perch on the hands of people for food. We watched this pair of Jays and tried to get them to hand feed but they were not interested in us at all. The pair sat together on a post covered with peanuts and sunflower seeds . The larger bird fed the smaller and they devoted their attention to each other.


The larger bird had yellow and red bands visible on its legs. Each Gray Jay in Algonquin Park has its own banding colour combination which makes it easy to identify individual birds from a distance. Gray Jays have declined significantly in the park since the 1970's and are not found in the west end any more. These birds do not migrate and store food for the winter underneath the bark of trees.


The Gray Jay builds its nest in late February and the female lays eggs in March when the temperatures are still very cold. This was obviously a mating couple and they will be nest building very soon. I was glad to get these pictures instead of shots of them feeding from our hands.


Here is a link to interesting information about Gray Jays in Algonquin Park.

7 comments:

  1. Such a beautiful pair of love birds. Much better than hand fed. Great captures Ruth.

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  2. You captured some very tender moments.Much as I like to feed birds from my hands,these pictures are so much better.
    Blessings,Ruth

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  3. They seem a bit chickadee-like. Are they related?

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  4. AC- They are in the Jay/Magpie/Crow family and are much larger than Chickadees which are in the Chickadee/Titmouse family.

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  5. Nice photos Ruth! I like Gray Jays, but they never come this far south.

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  6. Such good shots of this sweet couple Ruth. I am still trying to play catch up since my Bloglines has been so wonky!

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  7. Great photos! I've had the good fortune to see Gray Jays a couple of times when I visited Northern Vermont and New Hampshire. I love their tame and gentle demeanor.

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