Canada Jay 

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Perisoreus Canadensis 

Canada Jay

Adults have medium gray back feathers with a lighter gray underside. The head is mostly white with a dark gray or black nape and hood, with a short black beak and dark eyes. The long tail is medium gray with lighter tips. The legs and feet are black.

Males are slightly larger than females. 

Juveniles are initially colored very dark gray all over, gaining adult plumage after a first molt in July or August.

BILL: black, short and stout.

SIZE: relatively large songbird, measuring between 9.8 - 13 inches in length, with a wingspan of 18 inches.

WEIGHT: weighs about 65 - 70 grams.

COLOR: gray, white and black.

Insects, birds’ eggs and young, small rodents, fruits, berries, seeds, nuts, carrion, and human food.

Spruce or mixed forests. 

Northern North America, from northern Alaska east to Newfoundland and Labrador, and south to northern California, Idaho, Utah, east-central Arizona, north-central New Mexico, central Colorado, and southwestern South Dakota.

It is also found in the northern reaches of the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, and New England.

In winter it travels irregularly to northwestern Nebraska, central Minnesota, southeastern Wisconsin, central Michigan, southern Pennsylvania, central New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

They have a wide variety of vocalizations, from soft whistles to rougher and harsher notes.

NEST: The male chooses the site, both sexes build a cup-shaped nest made of twigs, bark, mosses, and lichens, lined with softer materials.

EGGS: 2 - 5 smooth, pale greenish-white or gray eggs, flecked with dark olive to rusty dots.

INCUBATION:  18 -19 days, female.

NESTLING PHASE: 22 - 24 days.

They are very opportunistic, taking food in a wide variety of manners as opportunities present themselves. They will store food to use during harsh winter months.

The oldest known Canada Jay banded and recaptured in the wild was at least 17 years old.

Canada Jay Infographic


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