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Gray Jay

Gray Jay
Scientific Classification
Order: Passeriformes
Binomial name
Perisoreus canadensis

The Gray Jay, Perisoreus canadensis, is a medium-sized jay.

Adults are gray on the upperparts, with a white forehead, face and throat. They have a dark cap and a short thick dark bill. They are slightly smaller than a Blue Jay.

Their breeding habitat is forested areas containing conifers across Canada, Alaska and the coastal United States. They usually nest low in a dense conifers.

They are permanent residents; some may move from higher elevations in winter.

These birds are opportunistic; they will capture live prey, also scavenge carrion. They will also steal food from any campsite left unguarded. They also may catch insects in flight. They are omniverous, eating insects, berries, seeds, small rodents and bird eggs. They cache food throughout their territory in preparation for winter.

This bird is also known as the Whiskey Jack, in various spellings; that name originates from the Cree word wiiskachaan.