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Merlin Bird ID

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    Gray Jay

    ID Info
    Silhouette JaysJays

    Gray Jay

    Perisoreus canadensis
    • ORDER: Passeriformes
    • FAMILY: Corvidae
    Basic Description

    The deceptively cute Gray Jay is one of the most intrepid birds in North America, living in northern forests year-round and rearing chicks in the dark of winter. Highly curious and always on the lookout for food, Gray Jays eat just about anything, from berries to small animals. They may even land on your hand to grab a raisin or peanut. During summer they hoard food in trees to sustain themselves through bleak winters.

    More ID Info
    image of range map for Gray JayRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

    Find This Bird

    The key to finding Gray Jays is to look at a range map and pay a visit to this bird’s northern or high-elevation boreal forests. After that, they’re likely to find you, as these curious birds investigate new sights and sounds in their territories. Look for them approaching quietly, making short flights from perch to perch or calling back and forth to each other.

    Other Names
    • Arrendajo Canadiense (Spanish)
    • Mésangeai du Canada (French)

    Backyard Tips

    Gray Jays visit feeders within their northern range, eating almost any kind of food (seeds, suet, etc.) offered on tube, platform, or ground feeders. Find out more about what this bird likes to eat and what feeder is best by using the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds bird list.

    • Cool Facts