Perisoreus Canadensis – Gray Jay – “Whiskey Jack”

Distinguishing Features – Slightly smaller than a Blue Jay.

Loose and fluffy plumage of various shades of gray. Whitehead and throat; blackish cap at the back of head wrapping around to encircle the eyes; back, wings and tail, slate color; feathers at tips of wings and tail white; belly grey, fading to near-white toward tail; beak and legs black.

Male and female are indistinguishable but the female is slightly smaller.

  • Size – 27.5 – 30.5 cm
  • (11 – 12.25 in)

Gray Jay


Mixed and coniferous stands, clearings, and swampy areas.


Most often in coniferous trees. The nest consists of sticks, bark, moss, pine needles, grasses, and leaves; lined with grass, feathers, and pine needles.

Eggs, usually 2 – 6; grayish, uniformly dotted with olive-buff spots. The incubation period is 16 – 18 days.


The Gray Jay is a frequent visitor to campgrounds and is notorious for begging for scraps from the picnic table. Its song varies from harsh chatter to soft chuckles, or a Quee-oo whistle.

If you’re interested in what are other common bird species.