What better bird to kick off my new Instagram page than Canada's unofficial official bird - the Gray Jay!
Some of you might remember a few years back, Canadian Geographic asked readers to vote in a National Bird species and we picked these cute northern wonders. Although they're not recognized by the federal government as our little national pal, they can be found in every single province and territory, so I think they deserve a special shoutout.
----- Birds like the Gray Jay are also helping humans study and observe climate change. Since these feathered buddies are so well adapted to the cold and barren northern conditions, with climate warming, their southern distributions are being affected. Maybe these cute little faces can help spark action to combat climate warming... #conservethewonder
One of my main hopes for my Algonquin trip was to see a Gray Jay and photograph it. After hiking Bat Lake and not seeing a single bird plus only seeing Bluejays at the visitor centre feeders, I got pretty discouraged I might not see one. Another visitor must have picked up on my disappointment and recommended we visit Lake Opeongo. As soon as we drove over we saw 5 or so birders with the big telephoto lenses and immediately knew we were in the right place. If you ever find yourself in Algonquin Park in the winter time, do yourself a favour and visit Lake Opeongo (don't forget to bring peanuts! Gray Jays are pretty brave and will eat right our of your hand!).
There’s a hike in West Vancouver where Gray Jays will come land on your hands. Does anyone know which one it is?
Some of my best pictures have come from this location. One picture was published in Macleans and Canadian Geographic. With another, I won the best picture taken by any high school student in bc by the professional photographers of Canada.
"A mountain is the best medicine for a troubled mind. Seldom does man ponder his own insignificance. He thinks he is master of all things. He thinks the world is his without bonds. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Only when he tramps the mountains alone, communing with nature, observing other insignificant creatures about him, to come and go as he will, does he awaken to his own short-lived presence on earth." 🌲🐾 #FinisMitchell
Handsome fellow, or lady?Will this beautiful, clever, mischievous, friendly bird be our new national bird?
The #WhiskeyJack , #GrayJay or #CanadaJay , or #PerisoreusCanadensis , can be found charming tourists and locals alike around magical #LakeLouise in #BanffNationalPark#Alberta .
This one here actually posed for me for several photos while eyeing my indulgence today, Zesty Tortilla Chips. I believe it expected to get a bite of a crumb or a whole chip as an exchange. I would have been happy to share but I also know that technically, we are not supposed to feed the wildlife at all, and not get close either.
The thing is, these cuties, and others, are so adorable that we crave an interaction. A relationship, a show of trust and reverence.
Well, this one was having none of that.
For the sake of flow and out of respect, I will give our little, fine-feathered friend a name, a gender-neutral one, Gray.
Gray decided that I must have misunderstood. That, in fact, sharing those tortilla chips was obligatory.
I hadn’t had these in years. This did not make me want to share them more.
Well, Gray decided to clear up the misunderstanding, as I walked away, by swooping practically on my hand, almost knocking the bag over twice.
But three’s a charm.
I should have taken a picture.
I wish someone had filmed it, because Gray sure startled me. I have a feeling Gray found this amusing.
Certainly the people walking by did. Actually, I laughed, too. And laughed the words, You little rascal.’
‘That stuff isn’t good for you.’
Thanks to the friendly human who told me what kind of bird Gray is. As well as telling me about this awesome little bird possibly getting the title of Canadian National Bird. Gray and family have my vote! What do you think?
Love this bird. Love this place. Love this moment.
"I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you're going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you." ☉ #CJoybellC
This morning I'm heading north for my third time hiking the Pemi loop for three days, so here's a video from my first trip in October 2014.
I had dreamt of Bondcliff and heard about the Canada Jays. Less than five minites after summiting Mt. Bond, this Canada Jay was all over me. I'm the first person to discourage people from feeding wildlife (outside of designated sanctuaries for doing so), but these Jays have been fed at the mountain tops for many years now, and they are songbirds like those we keep birdfeeders at home for. Although they do come to humans for food, they still know to forage for themselves otherwise. The most I can say is that I hope that people choose to feed them the kinds of foods and seeds they need for their natural diet.
Some might call me a hypocrite. When a bird comes to you in the most magical place in New England, and you have granola in your hand, how can you not share? I was on the moon. 🌙🌄🐦 #wildlifewednesday
These Whiskey Jacks (also called Grey Jays and Canada Jays - never knew the Canada Jay name but hey the latin name suggests the same...Perisoreus canadensis) are abundant where my eldest and I were in the sub-alpine this past week. They have little fear...they will land in your hand or on your head...or on your pack hoping for a nut or two.
Whiskey jacks are curious and bold birds. Not smart enough to fall for a small piece of bark every now and again though!
Tamron 10-24 at 24mm
Edited in Lightroom - presets available for purchase. Please DM for details.