Monday, October 26, 2009

Whiskey Jack



I first saw this fine fellow outside the school late last week at the end of the work day. He caught my attention since most birds we've seen in the immediate vicinity of the house as of late have been either ravens or magpies. Not having a camera with me at the time, I had to rely on memory when I was able to look this bird up in my guidebook. Of course by then, several hours had passed and their were a few birds in my guide that I thought it resembled. My initial guesses were either a Northern Shrike (Lanius excubitor) or possibly a Clark's Nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana). Between the two though, I felt the Northern Shrike was the more likely.

Turns out it was none of the above. I emailed a photo to Clare who pointed out that the bird is in actuality a Gray Jay (Perisoreus canadiensis) or Whiskey Jack. My guidebook points out that the Grey Jay can often be confused with the other two species I mentioned so my confusion is understandable at least.

And since I'm on the topic, we spotted a Red-Tailed Hawk during a weekend drive and Lisa pointed out a Spruce Grouse poking around in the long grass at the edge of our driveway a couple days back.

1 comment:

Bonnieupnorth said...

Whiskey jacks are very common in western canada, esp. in the Rockies and very tame if food around....LOL knew you would consult Clare!