Gray Jay Identification

The Four Keys to ID

  • Size & Shape

    Gray Jays are stocky, fairly large songbirds with short, stout bills. They have round heads and long tails, with broad, rounded wings.

    Relative Size

    Slightly smaller than a Steller’s Jay or Blue Jay; larger than an American Robin.

    Relative Sizerobin sizedrobin-sized
    Measurements
    • Both Sexes
      • Length: 9.8-11.4 in (25-29 cm)
      • Weight: 2.0-3.0 oz (58-84 g)

Regional Differences

Gray Jays in the Rocky Mountains are paler overall; those across the boreal forest show more contrast between the dark head and pale face and underparts. Individuals in coastal areas are darker overall, especially on the head.