Gray Jay (Perisoreus canadensis) aka Whiskeyjack, Algonquin Provincial Park
Gray jays live in Canada's northern woods, a species that lives there year round. Another name for them is Wiskeyjacks, a corruption of a First Nation's word for a mischievous spirit that likes to play tricks on people. They are quite tame, well known for seeking out people and hoping for handouts.
Are these for ME?!
Whiskeyjacks survive Canada's long, cold winters by eating the food they've gathered all summer and fall, which they've hidden under bark, lichen, or other nooks and crannies.
Perhaps you have noticed the bands around this Whiskeyjack's legs. In the 1960s a naturalist (Russ Rutter) working in Algonquin Provincial Park decided to learn more about gray jays' ecology and nesting behaviour. Gray jays are social birds and easily captured in baited traps long enough to attach coloured bands around their legs.
I wonder if I can fit more into my mouth
Each gray jay was given a different band colour combination. Rutter learned that gray jays lived a long time and in permanent territories. Although Rutter died in 1976, others have carried the study on and, in fact, studies of similar species - Siberian Jays (Sweden) and Sicuan Jays (China) - are now also being conducted.
So tame some will eat out of a human hand
I am joining Stewart M's Wild Bird Wednesday HERE