Canadian Atlas
La Société géographique royale du Canada et Canadian Geographic présentent :
Projet d'oiseau national
Projet d'oiseau national

Oiseaux chanteurs

Mésangeai du Canada (Perisoreus canadensis)

Votes : 7918

Mésangeai du Canada
Photo illustration : Canadian Geographic; Photo : Alan D. Wilson

Aussi connu sous le nom de geai du Canada, le mésangeai est un oiseau peu farouche qui vit toute l’année dans la forêt boréale. De taille moyenne, il présente une tête ronde dépourvue de huppe et un petit bec. Plutôt gris foncé, il possède des dessous plus pâles et une longue queue au bout blanc. Le Mésangeai du Canada emmagasine des provisions toute l’année et se plaît sous des climats froids.

(Les deux sexes)
Poids 70 g
Longueur 25-33 cm
Envergure des ailes 40-45 cm
Mésangeai du Canada : Carte d’aire de répartition
Carte d’aire de répartition (avec l’aimable autorisation d’iBird pour Windows)
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Élisez Mésangeai du Canada comme oiseau national du Canada

Texte explicatif

Les commentaires et les compositions seront publiés dans la langue dans laquelle ils ont été envoyés.

En vedette

My vote for Canada's bird goes to the gray jay. Two other contenders are birds I really like, the common loon and the snowy owl. Both of their distribution maps pretty well echo the map of Canada, however, both are also found in northern Eurasia. The gray jay, or Canada jay or whiskey jack, is all ours. We do share it a bit with the U.S. in Alaska and the western mountains, but it is all over forested Canada. For me, all of my experiences with gray jays are experiences I have had in the wilderness. Those, for me, of course, are experiences of joy.

Like Canada, the gray jay is a quiet bird but not shy. In fact, it is friendly in a gentle way which is the way I like to think of us Canadians. My first memory was as a teenager in Algonquin Park driving through the gate in winter. We saw a gray jay and stopped. Rather than fly away it flew nearer to us. So on a hunch I took a little piece of sandwich and held it out. Then I was treated to the thrill of the trusting bird landing on my fingers. Friendly but wild. Could that be Canadians at their best?

En vedette

There are movements afoot in Canada to select a National Bird as part of the Canada celebrations for its 150th year of existence in 2017.  Currently we have the maple as our official tree and for better or worse, the beaver as our official mammal.  So why not an official bird?   Many countries have one, the U.S. with its bald eagle being a prime example.  I strongly believe that we should choose the gray jay, formerly known as the Canada jay. Here are no less than FIFTEEN compelling reasons why it would be a great choice:

1) Found in all thirteen provinces and territories; it is only barely found in the U.S., in the Rocky Mt. region and Alaska;
2) A member of the corvid family, arguably the smartest birds on the planet;
3) Extremely friendly toward humans like all Canadians, often found panhandling on cross-country ski trails;
4) Very hardy like all Canadians, having highly adapted itself to living in very cold regions;
5) Figures strongly in First Nations folklore, also called the whiskey jack;
6) Is not an endangered species and thus, not at risk of disappearing;
7) Figures prominently in the boreal forest ecological zone, constituting a vast portion of our country worthy of protection and under pressure from clear-cutting and oil and gas development;
8) Not a hunted species, so it is not shot by Canadians;
9) Not an official bird species for any of the 10 provinces and recognized territories nor any other country (common loon is Ontario’s bird; snowy owl is Quebec’s bird)
10) Formerly called the Canada jay by ornithologists; its French name is mésangeai du Canada and its Latin name is Perisoreus canadensis!)
11) Stays in Canada year-round
12) Not flamboyant in its appearance, best representing the conservative nature of Canadians!
13) Not regarded as an obnoxious or nuisance species (like the Canada goose which is culled in the U.S.!)
14) Cannot be confused with any other bird species (99.6 per cent of Canadians cannot tell the difference between a raven and a crow!)
15) Not a circumpolar species, i.e., not found in other northern countries (as are the snowy owl and raven)

In short, I cannot think of a more Canadian bird! If Canada adopts this species as its national bird, we might even be able to convince the Nomenclature Committee of the American Ornithologists' Union to rename it the Canada jay.

The only thing going against it is that many Canadians do not see this bird every day (unless they enjoy skiing!), but lots of states and provinces as well as other countries have official birds that the public does not see on a regular basis and may in fact never see them as a live bird. The fact is that once it is chosen, we can promote the bird so that Canadians make an effort to visit our boreal forest to become very familiar with it and indeed, be proud of it as our National Bird.

Other Comments:

A few years ago, a raptor organization called The Canadian Raptor Conservancy in Ontario started promoting a national bird for Canada, but they have been doing it mostly by using an internet vote.  I worry about their process because there are species on their list of candidates which would be a disastrous choice.  For instance, the Canada goose is an obnoxious bird that is much hated in the U.S., U.K. and elsewhere to the point of being culled.  The common loon is Ontario's bird, not likely a popular idea with the other provinces, especially its arch-rival, Quebec. The same can be said for the snowy owl, which is Quebec’s official bird.  Another leading candidate, the red-tailed hawk, is even more common in the U.S. than Canada, so it is not very distinctive.  Fortunately, the gray jay is one of the candidates!  

More importantly, The Royal Canadian Geographical Society has recently initiated a similar online survey, a much more serious effort, for the general public to weigh in on this matter.  Forty candidates have been nominated, including the gray jay, but currently the front-runners are the common loon, the snowy owl, and gasp … the Canada goose.

Personally, I would like to see some intelligent discussion and debate about such an important matter as opposed to just letting the public make some possibly inappropriate choice.  I recall running a popular vote to select an official bird for the city of Montreal and we ended up with the American goldfinch only because the children who ended up being allowed to vote thought that it was the prettiest bird.  Recently, the city of Vancouver went with the black-capped chickadee as its official bird, another democratic decision that did not make any sense among Canadian ornithologists.  I am seeking help from all quarters to facilitate the selection of the gray jay as Canada’s National Bird.

— David M. Bird, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Ornithology, McGill University

En vedette

While I am the person who brought forward the Private member's Bill making the Common Loon the Avian emblem for Ontario, I believe the Whisky Jack or Gray Jay is the bird to represent Canada. It is found throughout our entire country & territory and we effectively do not share it. It is not hunted and stays with us year round. The Gray jay is not currently a provincial emblem and is not endangered. It is friendly so our young people can get to know it easily and making it our National Bird may get people out investigating its habitat.
It is also known as the Canada Jay and should completely displace the Canada Goose which migrates and, when it is here, messes up our lakeside areas. The Gray Jay best represents all the characteristics of the strong Canadian ethic.

En vedette

The Gray Jay is at the heart of many folk tales in my part of the Canada, the Kootenay Rocky Mountains.

There are stories of companionship. The Gray Jay is very friendly and often was the only companion of prospectors and trappers. One such trapper told me it was this small companion that kept him alive when he became ill on the trapline, persistently calling and urging him out.

Another story is of a man that got lost in the woods, he eventually found his way out and a Gray Jay accompanied him all the way, helping to ease his fear as he wandered through the bush in the dark. Another is a man that was hurt while in the woods alone. Eventually a search party went looking for him and the searchers maintain it was a Gray Jay that led them to the accident victim.

A logger whose vehicle broke down while he was alone had a Gray Jay accompany him all night as he walked out to civilization, easing his loneliness as and fear as he trudged the long road.

Stories like this are many and today the Gray Jay remains a welcome guest on hikes.

En vedette

Canada Jay
This Jay is grey and a Canadian eh

The Gray Jay is a bird of the North
A symbol we should hold forth
Wiser than the fabled owl
More friendly and any fowl

Gathers food for a winter's day
In such a familiar Canadian way
The contrast of its whisper song
And the harsh scratchy chattering call
Are reminders of how we get along
Be it Winter Spring Summer or Fall

From coast to coast they spread their wings
In spruce and firs we hear them sing
T'is our measure and lament
Of forest health and environment

There is no other northern bird that truly reflects or relates the very essence of its inhabitants.
The Canadian Jay, I would say, is friendly and smart, pesky and cute, something no one can refute

A heritage we must revere and protect,
For if it's gone, it won't be long
That ash-grey plume will be all we see
In a different kind of reality
Sorry but I have to say this Whiskey Jack is Canadian eh!

En vedette

Why I'm voting for the Gray Jay as official bird of the country.

Have you ever noticed, everyone remembers their first encounter with the Gray Jay. They will always tell you where and how fun it was. And those telling about their encounters were always impressed how intelligent, clever and handsome theses jays were. I didn't have that same experience with the Northern Goshawk! Lol
A few years ago my late grandfather (94 years old!) who had an exceptional memory would tell me the hard conditions of the 1930s in Québec and having a large family ( he was from a small village in the Chic Choc Mountains near Matane, Quebec called Saint-Jean-de-Cherbourg). Every year he would spend 9 months away from his family in North Eastern Québec (Cote-Nord) and in the Lac Saint Jean area to work in the logging camps, where conditions were not great, nor the pay and also the harsh weather they had to endure. As a very young man, he would miss my grandmother and family in these camps (no WIFI! hihi), being only in his young twenties, with much older men. Funny, today I now know why there is a year difference in age between my mother's siblings...
But just a few weeks before he died, I stopped by to see him and when he saw I was passionate about birds, he told me that during those lonely days in those logging camp sites that one day he had found a nest (Gray Jay), which must of fell from the tree while they were working. The young in the nest hadn't survived, except one which he took back to the camp site and took care if it. He managed to feed and take care of it, and the little guy stayed around and followed my grandfather everywhere. It became the camp's mascot, and it helped my grandfather from missing his family. He even told me that he would play fetch with this jay! I don't recall if my grandfather gave it a name, but he told me that every time he would return to the camp site, for the 3 following years, it would recognize him and would fly on his shoulder when he arrived. The bird didn't do this for any other worker in the camp, just my grandfather. It was nice seeing my grandfather's eyes light up when telling this story.
What's funny about this story is I also had a little relationship or adventure with a Gray Jay, that I called Cloé, while working in Northern Quebec a few years back. I'll be introducing her in my upcoming lecture for the BPQ, this February. So I think you all know which bird I'll be voting for, as Canada's bird, and it won't be that Goshawk (that's another story!).

Falco-ornitho-Joel Coutu (Facebook)

En vedette

I agree with the arguments made by others- the Gray Jay's distribution (present in all Canadian jurisdictions but scarcely outside of Canada) and its characteristics (intelligent, curious, friendly)make it the perfect choice. If chosen, we can adopt the alternate name- Canada Jay.

As good as some of the other choices are (such as the common loon and snowy owl), we should not duplicate a species alread in use as a provincial emblem as the national bird.

Ted Down, Ph.D.
Manager, Conservation Science
Province of British Columbia

En vedette

Gray Jay by day, Whiskey Jack by night.

Known as the friendliest bird above the 49th, the Gray Jay sets precedence for every Canadian. With it's over the top kindness, including the older siblings bringing home food, the Gray Jay shows the animal kingdom what it means to "Be Canadian".

Stretching from coast to coast and finding a home in every Province and Territory, the Gray Jay shows the adaptivity of Canadians on every level. It proves that no matter the conditions, we will prevail. We will survive. The Gray Jay is a true Canadian as it never migrates. It doesn't fear the snow, it embraces it.

The Gray Jay joins the long list of great Canadian comics as the mischievous prankster of Algonquin folklore. Named after the Cree God Wiskedjak, the "Whiskey Jack" was known as a camp pilferer and meat thief.

What's there to do in the dead of winter? Breed of course. The Whiskey Jack use their alone time in late February, early March, to breed. The boreal forest makes a great home for monogamous pair to raise a family. Hopefully, by making the Whiskey Jack, Gray Jay or Canadian Jay the official Bird of Canada, more Canadians will take an interest in visiting our beautiful landscape.

Just like maple syrup, the beaver, peameal bacon and Poutine are symbols of this great land, the Gray Jay is the ultimate symbol of "Canadians". With the boring colour scheme of gray, black and white, it vibrantly screams CANADA! Not in a negative way, but in a way that lets people know that a good time in Canada includes a fire pit, nature and a couple of Whiskey Jacks. Boring to some, Canadian to others.

Skiing in the Great White North, I encountered this bird first hand, two at that, and was reminded of the majestic duo of Doug & Bob McKenzie. "Coo loo coo coo, coo coo coo coo!" they sang. Tricksters.

You could argue that the Loon is more Canadian, but Ontario has already laid claims to her as the Provincial bird. And lets be honest, the last thing we want is something else for Ontario to gloat about.

Canada Goose? More like Canadian nuisance. One of the most culled birds in America. Is that what we want? A bird that represents our country, slaughtered by Americans for it's excessive "pooping" on their country...heh

Charlotte Gray’s osprey you say? Sure, if you want our national bird to be the prey of America's national bird. That's great for morale.

With a bird as Canadian as basketball, insulin, standard time, sonar and the Wonder Bra, it's baffling to see that there's even a contest to choose a clear winner.

I didn't have to write all of this, I could have simply hashtagged #WhiskeyJack and dropped the microphone. Instead, I brought a little light to a bird that most Canadians took for granted.

If anything, I hope this short essay will help change somebodies mind from throwing their vote away on a Provincial bird like the Snowy Owl or the Atlantic Puffin. The last thing Canada needs is more Atlantic Puffin jokes.

Besides, it just rolls of your tongue. "It's a Gray Jay eh!"

En vedette

My initial thought was to vote for the Common Loon, likely because it is so large and noticeable, and is easily recognised by most Canadians (especially since it was minted onto the $1 coin). However, the more I thought about it, the more I felt that the Gray (Canada) Jay was the better, and best, choice. Robert Bateman and David Bird eloquently summed up the birds atrributes and why it should be chosen so i won't repeat them. Simply put, of all the choices, it is literally and figuratively the most Canadian - I can't think of a better reason for its selection.

Michael J. Chutter, RPBio. BC Provincial Bird Specialist

En vedette

The grey jays, Canada's national bird?

In my opinion the grey Jay should be Canada's national bird.
Here's why.:

Our country and it's history

Canada's history is an exiting one. It includes several different groups of people, the different groups of people were the First Nations, the British and the French. The grey jays have a tie in all of the groups. Grey jays take place in several First Nations folklore. In French grey jays translates to mélangeai du Canada and in the past the grey jays were known as the Canada jays. I feel the national bird should connect to our history for if it weren't for our history we wouldn't have the Canada we have this amazing country.

Humans & grey jays.

The grey jays are not going to go extinct due to the fact that the grey jays are not a hunted species in Canada, on the endangered scale the grey gays are rated least concern with a population of 16 000 000 which is good because the species won't go extinct. The grey jays also have a positive interaction with humans besides who wants the national bird to be the most annoying thing that creeps into your nightmares, certainly not me.

Provinces and territories

The grey jays aren't an emblem for any of Canada's provonces or territories which is important because if the national bird is the same bird as one of the provincial or territorial birds in Canada than the other provinces and territories will have the thought that the province or territory with that bird as its province or territory is more important but the common loon is the provincial bird of Ontario. Grey jays are also one of the few birds in Canada that can be found in all of the country's provinces and territories all year long whereas the common loon is only in Canada in the summer for breeding. The grey jay isn't a circumpolar species which means that the grey jay doesn't live in other countries. I know that when we and other countries think of our country by it's national bird it shouldn't be a bird that makes you thing of a few places in Canada, it should represent all of Canada so that we keep the equality of all the country's citizens.

Characteristics of Canada

The grey jays survive in the winter by gathering food in the summer & autumn and use they're unique sticky saliva to attach the food to hidden parts of the trees which they go back to eat in the winter. Wow the grey jays are really smart (like Canada the most educated country and smart enough to keep this independent country in tact all these years) birds if they're able to remember what trees have the food after 4-5 months. Grey jays a are also from the corvid family; corvids are known for being strong ( Canada is strong in its economy and its cultural diversity) such as the raven. As well as the fact that they stay with they're family members and when in flight they fly in a small distinct V formation containing only immediate family members. 2 benefits of the grey jays are that they aren't a nuisance bird so they can't annoy you and that people love seeing the national emblems in the wild (imagine going out to a reservoir and seeing a beaver) however the grey jay is harder to see than your "I look outside and see it neighbourhood bird" it requires actually spending time outside walking around to exploring new places and experiencing new things which is what gains you wisdom an important part of character that can't be taught.

Circumpolar species: lives in multiple countries

Emma Payne

En vedette

I operate a bird observatory/banding station near Watson Lake, Yukon. Gray Jays also known as "Camp Robbers" here in the Yukon are ever-present year round. They are wise, resourceful, clever and so vocal. On the rare day that we actually catch an individual the whole extended clan makes sure we get a proper scolding until we release it's valued family member. They occur from coast to coast and even as far south as southern Ontario. It is not migratory so it is truely Canadian.

En vedette

Le mésangeai n’a pas été choisi par aucune autre province.

Le Mésangeai du Canada se retrouve dans toutes les provinces et territoires et ne se retrouve nulle part ailleurs dans le monde sauf pour quelques endroits plutôt restreints aux États-Unis.

Il fait face à nos hivers comme nous et ce sans se plaindre! Il ne se sauve pas dans les pays chauds d’Amérique centrale ou d’Amérique du Sud comme nos oiseaux migrateurs.

Il a le nom Canada dans son nom scientifique, est souvent encore appelé Canada Jay dans le Canada anglais et a également le nom Canada dans son nom français.

Un oiseau très social, il n’hésite pas à souhaiter la bienvenue à ceux et celles qui viennent sur son territoire — une caractéristique très canadienne.

Il fait partie de la famille des corvidés, une famille comprenant les oiseaux les plus intelligents sur la planète.

Plusieurs légendes amérindiennes parlent du Mésangeai du Canada.

Le Mésangeai du Canada n’est pas une espèce menacée et on ne risque pas de le perdre.
Il se retrouve majoritairement dans la forêt boréale qui couvre tout le Canada. Une forêt que nous nous devons de protéger.

C’est une espèce qui n’est pas chassée.

Ce n'est pas une espèce flamboyante et représente bien la vraie nature des Canadiens.
Le mésangeai n’est pas une espèce nuisible comme la Bernache du Canada et autres espèces.

On ne peut pas le confondre avec aucune autre espèce. La plupart des gens ne peuvent faire la différence entre une corneille et un corbeau.

En vedette

Excerpt from My Journal Entry of May 17th 2008

Today my camp robbers (whiskey jacks - gray jays) brought me their babies. I met two of them and heard a kerfuffle out in the willows and I thought the adults were in some sort of distress so I went out to see. As I pushed the willows aside with my arms and moved deeper into the yet leaf-less thickets. I saw two dark figures. Immediately I knew they were their new babies. Instead of fleeing from me, they moved closer and closer to me, as if to be coming into a huddle with me. They jumped from one branch to the other until they were right with me, only a foot or so above my head. The adults were across the open creek flat and were yacking an alarm at us. I then heard the eagle call from near the lake somewhere. I knew what was happening. This introduction with this year’s babies of my robber family was being orchestrated by the parent robbers from a distance. Each time the adults called from their perches across the open flats, the babies seemed to be moving on command toward me. You’d think they would be afraid at first. I mean, they are brand new babies and they’d never even seen me before, but here they were, trusting me. The parents were instructing them to come to me, to stay with me as there is a threat nearby (eagle) and telling them that I am safe, and I would protect them. What a feeling, what a responsibility, and indeed what an honour! I am privileged. I put out some scrambled egg, some chedder, and some fresh rainbow trout so the babies would be well fed... and the adults who have been my dear friends for years, stood by and watched as their precious young were with me. Then one parent came in and grabbed a bite of food for himself and his wife, who was still waiting in the wings, and then he navigated the babes back out safely with me standing guard.

"Do not speak to me of caged birds unless it is to tell me you have set one free"

En vedette

The Gray jay, sometimes called the whiskey jack, was often referred to as the 'moose bird' by my late father and others. It's not difficult to speculate how this bird became the 'moose bird' to many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians because it seems to have that uncanny way of appearing in nearby treetop or hopping confidently from tree stump to tree stump whenever hunters, woodcutters or hikers ventured into the wilderness and paused for a snack. If a fire was lit to boil kettles or warm food, the smoke attracted this bird almost immediately. Where they would come from , almost appearing from nowhere, was always a slight mystery to us all.

In addition to this, the bird carried with it a certain belief (call it a superstitious belief) that, somehow, to view this bird along the trail or to have it enter the campsite in search of handouts, brought good luck to everyone in the party. I was taught that under no circumstances should this bird be harmed in any way and always, always, a part of one's snack had to be shared with the bird. It hopped around with such confidence that, somehow, it knew that no harm would come to it. Many personal pictures are available of those birds feeding from one's hand, perched on one's knee, and even eating a piece of bread while perched comfortably on one's bald head. Usually, wild birds are so easily spooked, but for some unexplained reason this bird carries with it a certain degree of confidence, knowing it is protected by legend.

I remember some years ago when a younger man, travelling in the company of a snowmobile party (and obviously unaware of the near deity placed on moose bird)hurled a piece of orange peel at the bird, stricking it in the wind and causing the bird to flutter, awkwardly, before recovering in a nearby treetop. One of the older gentlemen in the group was quick to rise and in a voice showing complete irritation, reminded the young man that harming this bird in any way was taboo. Taken aback, the younger man sheepishly apologize and remained silent for some time. The older man looked at the younger man and said, "You know, my son, before you get home from this venture, you or someone in this group will have some sort of problem. Something will go wrong and it's all because of what you did to that little bird!" As the story is told, it was later in the evening, as the group was returning home, that the drive track on this particular gentleman's snowmobile 'came apart' and left his stranded deep in the wilderness. Thankfully, his friends invited him to ride double, alternatively, with them and all arrived home safely. The next day, the story goes, a sled was pulled back to the site and the snowmobile was mounted on the sled and dragged out of the wilderness and taken to a repair shop. Call it coincidence, but everyone in that group was sure that the mishap happened only because the moose bird was harmed.

There are many more stories told of this wonderful bird that cements the belief that it is, indeed, protected by higher forces and it is on this earth to offer hope and protection to all who travel into the deepest forests. I have never ventured into the deep forests without seeing one of those birds and I can't help but smile when I see one because I feel that it is following me to offer its comfort.

That is why I nominate the 'moose bird' as Canada's national bird.

Thank you so much for allowing me to share in the competition and share my story.

En vedette

As an ecologist by training and profession I do find it frustrating to see species such as the common loon, which ranges well into the USA and EVERYBODY seems to use as a symbol already, get so many votes. Or the Canada Goose, just because it is one of our more familiar birds and happens to have Canada in its name. PLEASE NO! I would be ashamed (Although I must admit it's aggressive and dirty behavior does represent the Canada we seem to have become lately in the eyes of other countries, which also makes me ashamed).

I have to agree that the gray jay is the bird that best represents Canada, not only because it's range is almost restricted to Canada, or because it is represented in all provinces, but because it exhibits characteristics of Canadians the way no other bird does. First, it is subdued in its colouration, not in-your-face with gaudiness or power, and has a quiet manner rather than a brash call or sickly-sweet song. Second, because it is tough enough to handle, even thrive in cold winters, the way we like to think of ourselves. And third, because it is outgoing and bold enough to explore opportunities (such as a potential snack from a much larger animal like us) rather than expressing fear of the unknown (in other words, is not preoccupied by prejudice).

Initially I was thinking about birds whose range (breeding at least) is almost entirely in Canada, and strangely enough came up with the Tennessee Warbler and the Connecticut Warbler as candidates! Now how is it that those birds managed to keep their names when the Canada jay officially became the gray jay? As another voter suggested, this is an opportunity to petition for a reversal. If they did it for the Baltimore oriole (which was briefly officially the northern oriole), they can do it for the Canada Jay, and raising its profile this way could be the ticket.

En vedette

It was a friendly companion, and often shared meals with the men and women who built our nation: explorers, prospectors, lumberjacks.

En vedette

I talked about this vote with my Grade 4 class. Even though I didn't tell them who to vote for we looked at the Canadian Geographic website and David Bird's essay, as well as reasons to vote. I thought David Bird made some great points.
I hope they all vote too! :)

En vedette

Although I am not going to write an essay, I did want to explain my choice for how I voted. If we are going to vote on a Canadian bird, I thought it would be important to vote for one that is unique to [mostly] Canada. Of all the birds running, the Gray Jay (Whiskey Jack) occupies most of Canada all year long, while it only resides in small areas of the US, and other birds are found migrating or reside all over North America.

The Gray Jay's residency in Canada all year without migration is a great reflection on the resilient Canadian human spirit. We are survivalists, weathering extreme conditions from icy cold, long winters to intensely hot summers, all of varying levels of humidity.

These birds reflect Canadian's hardiness through conditions that include everything from the peaceful rain forests of B.C., through the rough and rugged terrain of various mountain ranges, to the vast expanses of the badlands and prairies, to the pristine woodlands of the eastern and Atlantic provinces.

Canada has a global reputation as being cooperative peacemakers, and this is reflected in the Gray Jay. They appear sweet and beautifully soft, and are for the most part cooperative, but they are also adventurous as well as fearless predators for the sake of survival. Like Canadians, they work hard to prepare for long winters.

The Gray Jay is also called the Whiskey Jack, a variation of the Algonquin name for the bird. I strongly believe that if we are going to choose a National Bird, we must pay honour to our People of First Nations, as they are a significant part of our Canadian identity. The fact that most Canadians know the Gray Jay by the name Whiskey Jack is a great way to honour our First Peoples.

These birds provide a great representation of Canadian identity in a global sense, and for that reason, I believe would make a fantastic national bird which also honours our First Peoples.

I guess this turned into an essay after all.

En vedette

The gray jay (or whisky jack, as it is most commonly known around here) fits the criteria that I consider essential to a national bird:

(1) widely distributed across Canada
(2) a year-round resident, spending the winters here with the rest of us (a bird that spends half the year in Texas or Mexico is not truly Canadian)
(3) being confiding, not shy of people, and hence widely known and often seen

I love encountering whisky jacks while out cross country skiing in mid-winter. Their interest in me is more mercenary, as they inevitably try to snatch my lunch. They posses a cheeky, perky character. This visibility means that they are often seen and are well-known to most. The bird is really Canadian in that it occurs in every province and territory (perhaps only marginally so in Nunavut).

I consider that the characteristics of the whisky jack are representative of Canadians in general - cheeky and brash, but not violent (as would be implied if a bird of prey were to be chosen).

En vedette

I have to throw in a vote for this under-appreciated candidate!

First off, the gray jay goes by two other notable names. Canada jay, which is rather apt for a national bird, and whiskey-jack. Whiskey-jack is a modified version of a name used in some eastern Aboriginal language families to denote a mischievous spirit. Indeed, these plucky little guys have a chickadee-like affinity for people with food, and are not too shy about it! This also makes the whiskey-jack the only Canadian bird whose name has an aboriginal derivation that is used in the English vernacular. Talk about an important piece of Canadian culture!

Like true Canadians, these hardy fellows stick out the entire winter by resourcefully storing unbelievable amounts of food in caches in their territories. This involves mind-boggling intelligence and work ethic: hiding them from other creatures, while still remembering where the caches are months later. The chicks are tough as nails, leaving the nest before most migrating adults even make it back to the chilly territory.

Gray jays are smaller, less flashy, and quieter than their southern blue jay neighbours, which should make you smile just a little bit. Despite being found throughout Canada, the gray jay is not currently a provincial or territorial emblem, which I think is a highly desirable trait for a national bird. These curious, subtle guys who thrive in the Canadian winter are hugely deserving of this title.

For more info:

Perisoreus c. canadensis - on of the subspecies.
They were once official 'Canada jay', and we should reclaim that name!

I love the gray jay because they are bold,inquisitive,smart and just a joy to behold.
Many a camper has turned their back on their food for a second and turned around to see a Whiskey
Jack making off with a part of it.I have been hunting in the same spot for a few days and had a Gray Jay hop under my knees and then use my gun barrel as a perch.
An old guy, now passed on, used to say if there are Whiskey Jacks about and you have to have a whizz you had better hold on tight or they would be off with it too.

I ski and my constant companions were and are the Gray Jays or as I grew up knowing them the Whiskey Jacks. I always have my friends back. Nuff said!

I enjoyed hearing Dr. Bird's discussion today on CBC Vancouver and hearing his reasons why he thinks the Gray Jay - or Whiskeyjack - is the best choice for Canada's National Bird. Growing up in Alberta, these birds were very much part of our environment and always lovely to see.

Thanks, Dr. Bird, for your strong argument encouraging us to vote for this lovely Canadian bird! I hope it wins.

I've had this bird land on my hat while cooking pancakes camping in Alberta. He is bold, fearless and musical.

Loved the reasons Robert Bateman and Professor Bird gave. (Have read a few others v good.)
The prof was compelling on CBC Radio this afternoon (Aug 31).
PLEASE use the name CANADA JAY for the bird.
Do not use American spelling or the American name.
GREY and WHISKY are the Canadian spellings.
As an aside, shdn't be the bird of a particular province; shd be across Canada (great that it doesn't migrate)

It's native to all the provinces and doesn't migrate like many of the other species/candidates. It's friendly, and has a lovely song/voice. Lives in the boreal forests of Canada

The Common Loon is already the bird for Ontario. The Whiskey Jack is better represented across the board and I find, far more encapsulating of Canadian spirit! =)

I love the whisky jack's! So friendly, so pretty and I love their sound.

Is in all of Canada, not a provincial bird, is smart, has a great voice and does not fly south in the winter. Canadian.

Hi, I agree with Mr. Bird that the Gray Jay (or Canada Jay) is a bird that most represents Canadians -- we're friendly, tough, smart, and we live in Canada all year round.
I hope the Gray Jay is chosen to be Canada's national bird.

The Canadian Gray Jay lives in every Province and Territory; it doesn't migrate 'away' from Canada; it's a handsome bird but not flashy (sort of like Canadians!); and we ought to leave the Loon to Ontario and the Snowy Owl to Quebec. Plus the Canadian Gray Jay is a friendly bird :-)

Gray Jays are intelligent, determined and non-migrating. They are opportunistic, and are efficient flyers.
Even though they will steal food, they are brave and attractive.
I always look forward to visiting with these locals when hiking or skiing in the Rocky mountains and foothills.

If it is to be a "national" bird, then the choice should be the Gray Jay due to its range... it can be found in all provinces across Canada.

Gray Jay would be my 2nd choice (ideally we could bring back its former name, Canada Jay) but my first choice is Boreal Chickadee.
Gray Jay has a very good range across Canada in every province, but Boreal Chickadee has a better Canada-centric range distribution and is more widespread across Canada. And it really needs our help because this species has undergone a large and statistically significant decrease over the last 40 years in North America (-73.3% decline over 40 years, equating to a -28.1% decline per decade). Lets put this species in the national spotlight and help sustain its population by scientific methods as well as political and community support by naming it Canada's national bird.

I love the friendly cheeky Canadian jay.

I loved camping in the north and the Camp Robbers would be around the camp.a bird would step into my husbands truck and sit in the steering wheel at a rest stop on the Dempster Highway all the time. I love the sound of the loon but the Whiskey Jack has always been my treasured friend.

I voted for the Gray Jay for 2 reasons:
1) It is an extremely "Canadian" bird. Incredibly friendly and trusting, it truly embodies the kind spirit of Canada.
2) It is not already a provincial bird. I believe that the National bird should not be shared with any one province to avoid animosity.
There is not much time left to vote, so please consider this beautiful, intelligent songbird to represent our country!

I remember seeing Whiskey Jacks when I was a kid on BC camping trips in Manning Park and at Deka Lake in the BC interior. They were always entertaining in the way they seemed to magically appear upon the first unwrapping of food at a campsite. First you'd see them alight on a branch, quickly transferring to one of those stone and timber picnic tables in anticipation of a treat. Had I known they had a habit of hand-landing I definitely would have tried it.

Being a big-city dweller during my adulthood thus far it's been a decade or two (or three) since I've seen a Gray Jay, although we do see the occasional Stellar's (Blue) Jay in Vancouver once in a while.

in the boreal forest; in all provinces and territories; not already taken by a province

Quiet, appears out of nowhere when you least expect it, friendly, gentle

As a lifelong explorer of Canada's wild lands, I have been the fortunate acquaintance of numerous individual "Wiskedjaks" and have shared many meals and snacks with them, over the years. I submit they are, absolutely, our best ornitho-ambassadors!

Apart from the fact that the gray jay, or whisky jack as I prefer to call it, is a very lovely bird and can be found in every province, it is the most friendly creature I encounter on my walks and hikes around Vancouver. They will often share my picnic and entertain my kids by landing on their outstretched hands. What better bird to represent Canada than this handsome, friendly feathered friend!

Love the Whiskey jack, Canada Jay or Grey Jay. Many trips into the back country Skiing Hiking and Camping have been accompanied by the wonderful curious and Friendly Canada Jay,

I'll go with Robert Bateman! for the bird's range and its charm. Though I think we should also call it Wisakedjak.

The Gray Jay is the first bird i fell in love with when i first moved here. It would eat out of my hand when i was visiting Manning Park

Should be grey jay because it can be founfd and recognized across Canada

Heard the interview with Prof Bird on CBC, liked the argument for the Gray jay.

Heard the interview with Prof Bird on CBC, liked the argument for the Gray jay.

Only bird present in all provinces.
Canada Goose is a pest. The loon is not solely Canadian.

Give David Bird 5 minutes and he'll convince you!

Beautiful bird, common across Canada, doesn't migrate, very friendly (like canadians!)

Awesome lives here all year round

Sassy, fearless, swooping wondrously, effortlessly through the pines.

Ihave experienced these jays all acrois the country. I like that it is not a provincial bird. And thst it doesn't migrate. It's tough! And smart!

I only encounter the Gray Jay during my trips in Labrador and Northern Quebec. It has a human quality to it unlike any other creature I know.

We used to have the gray jay...would love to see it's return!

Friendly, cute and loves the mountains.

This jay has local names. I've known it as the Whiskey Jack, others are the Stellar Jay. However I believe that this bird can be found in every province and does not migrate. It's "hardy" and can look after itself in our many regional "weathers" across the country in all seasons.

The Gray Jay is the clear choice: friendly, not too flashy, present all over the country.

Lives in all provinces and territories. Doesn't leave Canada. Is hardy and friendly.

Lives in all provinces and territories. Doesn't leave Canada. Is hardy and friendly.

I love the friendly birds around moose camp

Most uniquely Pan Canadian option

Sounds Canadian to me!

Found all over Canada and only a small part of the U.S. making it a Canadian bird mostly. Lives here year round. Is very smart, and also very beautiful.

We love the whiskey jack! It is a special favourite of ours at Manning Park!

The gray jay is a friendly, mischievous bird found throughout Canada. Originally, it was known as the Canada jay.

The gray jay is a friendly, mischievous bird found throughout Canada. Originally, it was known as the Canada jay.

We love the whiskey jack! It is a special favourite we see at Manning Park!

A truly Canadian bird, a bird that any Canadian could identify with.

I like the Gray Jay for Canada's National Bird simply because of the fact that it is truly Canadian and stays in Canada year round. Also it's character is much like the average Canadian. It is intelligent yet meek and mild mannered. I don't see a better candidate for the title of Canada's National Bird.

Spent about 15 years in Yukon, where the Whiskey Jacks (a.k.a Camp Robbers) were in abundance. Wonderful fun to have them around in the bush or at home! Very intelligent and lots of pleasant "songs". Very friendly and would readily come and feed from one's hand. Good choice as a Canadian ambassador from the bird community!

This is the perfect choice. A beautiful little bird that gets its identity back the Canada Jay . Slow and steady wins

After having read the essay by Mr. Bird and listened to the Gray Jay's song call, I support voting for the Gray Jay. It's friendly nature and broad habitat throughout Canada make it a great national representative.

I listened to Professor David Bird of McGill University on CBC and he convinced me, plus I didn't see Bird McBirdFace as an option

The Gray Jay, The gray jay is not over "showy". Is not obnoxiously noisy like many other birds. Does not have a "loony" name like the Loon. Does not foul every park and school yard like the Canada Goose. Is friendly to hikers and other Canadians. Is a resident in every Province in Canada. Is not a predatory bird like the Snowy Owl. Is truly Canadian, only residing in Canada, except for short trips across the 49th. What more can I say? It's the only bird that's Canada's bird. Go...Gray Jays.

I've seen the whiskey Jack while hiking on North Shore Mountains Near Vancouver. They are a friendly and good looking bird and an appropriate symbol for Canada.

I love the Whiskey Jack/Gray Jay. I first came across them when having a picnic near a cross country ski trail on Mt. Washington on Vancouver Island. I pointed at something with a sandwich in my hand and before I could say Gray Jay one swooped down and stole my sandwich. They come so softly and quietly. Another time, once again on Mt. Washington I was snow shoeing with a friend and we stopped to have a granola bar snack. A gray jay came to us so I put a little bit in my hand and it came, sat on my hand and took the crumb. It said thank you with a peep and then we continued this pattern for a good 10 minutes. It was a delightful interchange. I didn't realize that they were a bird found in all the Provinces and Territories of Canada. This fact for sure makes the Gray Jay a wonderful candidate for "The Canadian Bird".

The friendly little Whiskey Jack as we know them was a constant companion whilst cross country skiing, a weekend family activity. Memories of those adventures always includes the photo's of a whiskey Jack perched on the tip top of the ski's when planted deep in the snow during a snack break. It's a little glitter critter on a cold snowy day and. Just as cheerful on a rainy day, the Grey Jay is getting my vote for Canada's National Bird .

I love this bird. It is friendly, highly intelligent, and good looking. We see them all the time when in the back country either while hiking or skiing. A true Canadian.

Gray Jays are beautiful songbirds that would well represent our beautiful country. They also go by the name Canada Jay. At Shames Mountain, where I and many others enjoy skiing, Gray Jays flourish. They live all around my community as well. They live throughout Canada in large numbers and currently aren't a Provincial or Territorial bird which would show more equality among the country. I think that the Snowy Owl and Common Loon are already well represented by Quebec and Ontario. Gray Jays would symbolize Canada well.

P.S I've learned that they also enjoy poutine as much as we do.

The Whiskey Jack is a truly National bird and it is so Canadian, friendly to all and will join anyone at their campsite, cabin at the lake, etc.

These curious and friendly little guys are always wonderful to see on the ski hills in the winter. Their friendly, intelligent and hardy nature represents Canada perfectly.

The Whiskey Jack is perfect. It will always find you in the forest, it's friendly, not predatory, it has a pleasant call, and it has a regal appearance.

Though I live in the USA, I'm a Canadian by birth. Having traveled the width of Canada many times, I think that Perisorias canadensis is absolutely the most representative bird of our Great White North. Good luck, Whiskeyjack!

Whiskey Jack's ROCK!!! They deserve to be Canada's national bird.

The perfect national bird!

Unpretentious, smart, playful and friendly just like Canadians!

Lives throughout this beautiful country and, lucky for us, no country, province or state has yet claimed it for its own!

This is a bird that stays in Canada year round, has a beautiful sound and no one hates it like they do the Canada Goose. The Loon and the Snowy Owl are already claimed by two provinces. Let's leave their choices along and go for the Gray Jay/Whiskey Jack. It's a great choice!

This is a bird that stays in Canada year round, has a beautiful sound and no one hates it like they do the Canada Goose. The Loon and the Snowy Owl are already claimed by two provinces. Let's leave their choices along and go for the Gray Jay/Whiskey Jack. It's a great choice!

Whiskey Jacks bring back memories of camping northern Saskatchewan, the clever sassy birds watching for opportunity to share our campfire meals, to skiing Vancouver's local mountains, to hiking Vancouver Island trails. Fearless, friendly, hardy and smart they represent some of the best of Canadian values.

This bird is found in all provinces….truly Canadian.

attractive, friendly, clever (belongs to jay/crow family), not already a provincial or state bird, associated with aboreal forest, symbolically and practically significant; lives across Canada and limited presence other countries; not associated with negative toilet habits like Canada goose

I love this bird! They are intelligent and beautiful with a lovely song.
Whenever I see a a Whiskey Jack, I am overjoyed to see this familiar and sassy bird!

This bird is found in all provinces….truly Canadian.

My dad was an avid outdoorsman, fisherman, hunter, golfer.
He loved the Whiskey Jack. I heard the interview on CBC this evening and I totally agree with the man's arguments re. the Whiskey Jack.

I love the character of the Whisky Jack, the fact that it's found in every Canadian province, stays in Canada year round - and, unlike the Loon and the Snowy Owl, is not already the official bird of a Canadian province. And Whisky Jacks are beautiful.

Thought Dr Bird's argument succinct and convincing.

There is something so simply canadian about heading to the lake and being joined by the gray jay any time of the year. Snowmobiling in the winter off with a group if like minded friends, and when you stop for a visit or break they often fly down close to check you out. Summer days on a canoe route they stop by as your fixing lunch to see if your interested in sharing. Just like a friendly neighbour they are not loud and pushy like some more boisterous birds.

For 30 years I worked in the forestry business for B.C. Forest Services, Alberta Forest Services, Consulting Forestry and Parks Canada.
At lunch stops the Gray Jays were my friends and I always gave them some tidbits.

Halle Flygare

PS. Even today I paid a visit to Canmore Nordic Center for a picknick and the the Cray Jays showed up in a very pleasant manner looking for food.

Whisky Jack is my favorite forest bird!

If we succeed in making the gray jay National Bird it should be called whiskey Jack. They are one of my favorite birds; it's always a good day when they show up.

If we succeed in making the gray jay National Bird it should be called whiskey Jack. They are one of my favorite birds; it's always a good day when they show up.

If we succeed in making the gray jay National Bird it should be called whiskey Jack. They are one of my favorite birds; it's always a good day when they show up.

As recommended by David Bird on cbc radio

Used to be called Canada Jay

Love the sound of the bird

Love seeing them around Mount Washington on Vancouver Island-very friendly!

Favourite bird Whiskey Jack, just want to vote

Perfect bird to describe the canadian culture

Quiet but friendly. Companion in many different regions/forests.

The Gray Jay is native to Canada only. Found in every territory and province.

This bird is built for life in Canada. It doesn't migrate, it's only found here and is super friendly.

Gray Jay!

I love the cute little Grey Jays.... We see them so often when we go visit in the Rocky Mountains. I've got a good photo of one sitting in the evergreen. I'll treasure this photo. It reminds me of all the great hiking and fun site seeing we've done over the years.

The gray jay is known in NB as a gorbi. Whenever you light a fire in the woods, the grey jay will soon appear anticipating sharing lunch with friendly humans. Of course it is also known as the Canada Jay

The reasons why I chose the Gray Jay: this bird species lives year-round through-out Canada which means it better represents the entire country; the Gray Jay parents work hard to cache food and care for their young which is emblemic of hard-working Canadians everywhere; it's discreet colouring reminds one of how we are quietly patriotic about our country. Finally, the Gray Jay isn't already a Provincial or Territorial bird, so it can fully represent all of Canada!

I spent a good number of years as a land surveyor in Alberta , BC and Saskatchewan. The Gray jay or Whiskey Jack was forever present. Usually in the foothills or the mountains the Grey jay would spot us and then tag along to see what we were doing. They are curious, friendly and brave sometimes coaxing me to share my lunch.
Two peices of equipment Surveyors use often are the level and the rod. When the Grey jays really wanted to impress us they would land on top of the rod as we were trying to hold it perfectly verticle and still so the person operating the level could take readings. I have to think that approximately one hundred and fifty years earlier when the original Surveyors were laying out townships, ranges and meridians from one side of the country to the other that the Grey jay was there too.

The Whiskey Jack is a true Canadian! He doesn't desert us when cold winter sets in. He is a friendly bird who seems to like us humans! He may not be a striking white and black figure but I am always happy to see this little grey guy in my yard!!

Seems to be a bird that you can find in I believe every province in Canada- unlike most of the others listed.

The Gray Jay, otherwise known as the Whiskey Jack or Camp Robber, is found in all provinces in Canada and is almost exclusively Canadian. This friendly bird is well known to outdoor enthusiasts who delight in it's willingness to visit and even take food by hand. Many Canadians do not recognize this bird as a Gray Jay which is perhaps why it doesn't get the recognition that it deserves. I believe it is the bird that best represents Canada.

Skiing at Lake Louise the Whisky Jacks of Temple Lodge have shared many of my lunches and they have always been welcome.


Gotta love the whiskey jack!!!!!!!!!!!!

Whiskey Jack is The Canadian bird. It is friendly, intelligent, observant, understands all Canadian languages, clearly communicates its wishes to us, is a persistent and peaceful negotiator, lives in every province and territory and is not especially recognized by any individual province or territory. Whiskey Jack deserves a place of honour in perpetuity.

Always a good friend at our hunting camp.

This is a well known bird to most Canadians who spend time outdoors, interesting to watch, very sociable, & well adapted to the Canadian climate, I have had them come & eat from my hand.

This is my essay about the grey jay. :)

Gray Jay is found everywhere in Canada and doesn't migrate but stays as a true Canadian bird. I love seeing and watching it in its mountain habitat near my home.

Gray jays are a wonderful bird also known as the whiskey jack,the Gorbie, and the Canada jay often found in pairs they can be a companion on adventures in the wilderness and entertainment at the camp they seem to live the Canadian way friendly trusting loving

Best choice.
Can eat out of your hand without training. Stays in Canada all year round.

Its distribution from west to east across all provinces throughout the year makes this an excellent icon for Canada.

The "Canada" jay has several great arguments in favour of its choice as Canada's national bird. Its predominate range in North America is within Canada, it can be found in every province and territory, it does not migrate elsewhere to breed but remains here all year round, and it has not been previously designated as a provincial or territorial bird. The last point in particular is quite a good reason not to select the common loon or the snowy owl, both with many votes, and both of which have been already designated as provincial birds.

Gray Jay lives here all year round and has a place in First Nations story-telling.

Gray Jay lives here all year round and has a place in First Nations story-telling.

Grey jays rule!

l love the grey jay. They rock. And they never leave the country.

The Grey Jay is my choice because it has to endure freezing winter temperatures and stays in Canada all year round. Many die, I understand, when food sources are poor. Besides their beautiful plumage, they bless us with their confidence, even so far as perching on one's hand for seeds. When I immigrated here I was enchanted with my first encounters with this endearing bird.

non migratory, ubiquitous, friendly, clever, cute

The Gray Jay is the epitome of the boreal forest and ranges the vast majority of Canada.

Formerly known as the Canada Jay is populated throughout Canada and believe it to be the best choice for Canada's National Bird. Love that little Camp Robber!...also known to like Whiskey!

Truly national, truly northern, unique friendly character

The Whisky Jack lives in Canada year round. It is robust and social and has a name that makes you thirsty for some of Canadas favorite beveridgeS.

The Grey Jay is an understated, friendly and smart bird, prepared for all seasons. A wonderful choice to represent Canada.

Whats more Canadian than the Whiskey Jack? As a hunter/angler I've spent countless hours being more than entertained by these whackey birds from BC to Quebec throughout all the seasons, unlike the Loon which we see in the summer only. It's name implies a great Canadian trademark as well, Whiskey! Tough to go wrong with this extremely hearty, hardy and wonderful song bird being our national bird.

The Whiskey Jack of course,
in Canada from coast to coast,
with a voice that's somewhat coarse,
truly Canadian, and it doesn't boast.

Besides, the Canada Goose is nothing but an annoying shitbox. Not something I'd like to be representing Canada.

My husband and I grew up in Northern Quebec, then moved to Labrador and lived in Northern Canada for 50+ years, the Whiskey Jack was always around and such a beautiful bird. Would always eat right out of our hands and often would steal food from campsites!

In 2011 we moved to New Brunswick and were pleasantly surprised to see a couple in our back yard!

When I go skiing I try to have a few morsels of food for the Gray jays on me. Rather than just snatching the food and instantly leaving, it is such a joy to have them perch on the hand for a while and "chill" before flying off. It almost looks like they are smiling when you see them up close.

Range reaches across Canada, a friendly familiar bird to campers, hikers and skiiers.

Native to all provinces and territories, the Grey Jay is unique. It interacts freely with humans and has the fun loving, almost criminal personality, much like the stereotypical Canadian.

I think Robert Bateman said it all....:)

Gray Jay, Whiskey Jack, Canada Jay, Moose Bird, Gorby. So many names from all across Canada. A gregarious bird like Canadians.

They are my favourite bird because they clean up after campers! I see them often when I am camping (camp robber's I call them) and the keep the campsite free of crumbs and dropped foods!

This bird was a favorite among the lumberjacks and there are lots of stories, enough to fill more than one book.

I am a Canadian living in the US. Throughout my life, I have considered the Whiskey Jack (Wisakedjak, or only of the other spellings) as essential to the Canadian spirit. It encourages us to be more watchful and careful.

Not much to really say about this bird. It's our bird. Like most of us it stays here for the winter. It's not the biggest. Or the loudest.
Like many of us it truly feels the squeeze of climage change.

The whiskey jack / Grey Jay is an iconic bird that represents that wild and natural that Canada is. It can be found in the mountains and anywhere that is wild. A true beauty.

While I really like many of the contenders, the peregrine falcon, the pileated woodpecker, the arctic tern and the white throated sparrow, I really like the arguments for the Gray Jay, aka Whiskey jack, and perhaps someday, the Canada Jay.

Thanks for providing us the opportunity of voicing our choice.

This bird I have heard in the forests of Western Canada. Wonderful!


The Grey Jay is abundant all across Canada in the coniferous forest areas. It is always present around camp fires and flies very close to people to receive a handout. It becomes more friendly over time and may eat out of your hand. Its grey, white and dark colours make a very pretty pattern. I feel it is a national bird by habitat and should be renamed the Canada Jay.

.....and remove our name from the vermin goose.

A friendly sweet native that stays with us all year. A hardy Canuck.

A uniquely Canadian bird-friendly, resourceful wild and free. Found across Canada, but not yet taken by any province. Besides, what is more Canadian then 'Whiskey Jack'! All the nominees are deserving but the Whiskey Jack is so unassuming -it fits us!

Resourceful, stays all winter, friendly, caring family activities, funny,

of all the canadian birds this one is the one a canadian is most likely to actually get to interact with without getting bit 100 times

It has been defended by others in better words, so I won't bother reiterating here, but this is clearly the best choice.

Loons and Snowy Owls are wonderful, but neither one of them is uniquely Canadian.
On the other hand, Gray Jays are almost ubiquitous in Canada, are barely found elsewhere, and are resident here year-round.

Quiet and friendly !

The Gray Jay looks like the perfect bird to be Canada's national bird. I like that it likes all around Canada, and is friendly and hardy. I hope that the designation leads to conservation efforts for all Canadian bird species.

What a perfect bird to represent our great country but let it be known from this day forward as the Canadian Gray Jay.

The friendliest bird I've ever encountered in my neighbourhood. It has a cheery song and flits around with a pretty silhouette!

They hardy canucks. Native and friendly just like us.

The Gray Jay is a handsome, resourceful, clever and friendly bird. All qualities which I like to experience in Canadian people. It is an inhabitant of our Boreal forests across this vast country. If it were to become known as our National Bird, perhaps more people would have an awareness of the fragility of our northern forests. Its nickname 'Whiskey Jack' has a nice ring to it as well.

From Coast to Coast this bird touches all Provinces and Territories yet is yet to a bird to none!
Grey Jay...home to grey-ing Canadians.
Whiskey Jack...a nod to our favourite libation.
Why it even has Canada in its Latin nomenclature!
GO GREY JAYS!...I can see the T-shirts now...

The Gray jay lives across our nation and is most like us in nature.
They love the boreal forest, are quiet by nature but friendly too.

Friendly bird mostly living all over Canada & territories.

I was thinking of voting either for the Common Loon or the Snowy Owl until I realized they were already chosen birds for 2 provinces. I think it is important to have a bird that reflects all of Canada in its location throughout the country and in the type of "personality" the bird possesses. The Gray Jay or Whiskey Jack has been a part of Canada right from the beginning. Entertaining loggers and, I'm sure, explorers of this vast country.
Friendly, but not Canadian...I think the perfect bird.

The Gray Jay or Canada Jay represents every aspect of Canadian Culture. It is a survivor, it is friendly, it lives in the wild yet associates with people. Probably the greatest aspect of the Canada Jay has followed Candia throughout the development of Canada.

The gray jay is a truly Canadian bird, being here year round.

Friendliest bird and is here year round

Friendly, unassuming, always available, yet tough, skittish and a permanent resident. I've had Whiskey Jacks come and land on my shoulder, share my lunch and "talk" to me on walks through the hills outside Vancouver's North Shore. And other places where they are always a welcome addition to my activity. Gregarious but not a pest (like the silly Canada Goose), a buddy while you're hiking and just as happy to wave you on your way. Independent, resilient and cute. Soft, with a colour that blends in, protects and contrasts, in keeping with the whim of the tiny bird. I vote for the Whiskey Jack, Grey Jay, Bird of Canada!

Like that it is found across Canada & stays in winter, will hopefully help to inspire curiosity for this bird and it's habitat - potentially helping to protect the Boreal forest, and other forest types.

This Jay has character!

I like Jays. They are beautiful and while noisy, I like to think they are just making their presence known. They are friendly like Canadians (not skitterish) and they are prevalent across Canada. I see blue Jays but they are our Provincial bird here in PEI so I'm giving the gray Jay my vote. The alternate names help with my choice. Canada Jay for sure and although "whiskey jack" uses the American spelling rather than the Canadian "whisky" I still like the association by the sound of it.

The gray jay is smart, friendly, resourceful and conservative. It has foklore stories from natives and early settlers. It stays year round in Canada and breeds in the winter. It is not a provincial bird. To me the choice is clear. Go Gray Jay!!!

The Grey Jay is the friendliest bird - just like Canadians.


Very Canadian!

I chose the Canada Jay because it is found in all provinces and territories .It nests in Canada all year.It is a hardy bird , friendly and has a shared boarder with our American neighbors...the longest boarder in the world .

Seems like a very good choice. I think we should stay away from a bird that is already a provincial choice.
The Whiskey Jack/ Jay was a favourite of my Dad's - he would be pleased with this choice.

Great little bird aways a good friend to people who spend time in the woods in the winter.

I have spent much time in Cacada's forests, and the Gray Jay is always there to greet me.

Smart yet understated, found all across Canada.

This bird is wild but friendly, modestly plumaged in dapper tones, and so very confident in its demeanor. The Gray Jay is a natural ambassador to all who visit the North, and will happily "break bread" with any and all comers. On my first visit to Algonquin Park in winter, who but the Gray Jay should immediately, and without reservation, swoop down from the trees to perch on my ski pole in order to share some Christmas cake - leaving me with an indelible memory of our wild North.

One can't help but be charmed by this approachable, intelligent year-round resident of Canada! The Gray Jay is a genuine trooper, possessing not only the savvy to survive and thrive in the northern cold, but also the derring-do to raise its young in the deep of winter. That is pluck!

I vote with strong conviction that Perisoreus canadensis - the Gray Jay - is uniquely suited to be the best avian representative for our beautiful country!

Friendly bird

Thanks CBC Noon Talk show!

The "whiskey Jack" is the friendliest of birds, very Canadian!...

I like that the Grey Jay is almost unique to Canada. A socialable yet not pushy character, friendly, non threatening and nice to have around.

The Wisky Jack never leaves Canada. Is one of the most friendliest songbirds in Canada, always visiting campers & outdoors people & feeders.
They represent the Canadian way of life the most.

I agree with Dr. David Bird that the Gray jay, aka Whiskey Jack, should be our national bird. It doesn't abandon us in Winter... sign of a true
Canadian. It's found all over Canada, pretty much, which makes it an excellent species to represent our whole country. It hasn't been claimed by any province or territory (although I can't think why). It's friendly, curious, and smart... And... almost best of all... it's second name reflects something else that's great and quintessentially Canadian... Whiskey! Yay!

The Canada Jay. A friendly bird that lives in every part of Canada. Perfect!

A Trusting,curious and friendly bird when you encounter it in the woods. How Canadian!

I think the gray jay is a good representative of Cnadaians, not flashy, can handle the cold winters, frugal; collecting and storing food for the better east days,they are curious and brave enough to come forward and snitch a bit of my lunch of take it from my hand when offered and is always there when I need or want some company. A great little bird with a big heart.

Truly Canadian - should readopt it's name as Canadian Jay

It was hard to pick between the grey jay and a chikadee as both these birds stay in Canada all year round. If we're to pick a national bird it should be one that all Canadian's and tourist can see all the time and all year round.

truly represents canada

The Gray Jay does not discriminate against anyone who is lost or travelling in the forests. They will come and visit you, my father was a prospector in the north and he often told me t hat the bird would visit with him at supper time. That my dad would often speak with him. Prospecting alone in the north for long periods of time was lonely. The bird often kept him company as they show no fear of man in these situations. Also this is an Aboriginal bird of stories, to injure or kill this bird is not a choice for if you do bad luck will follow you as does this bird. The gray jay is a friend, a watch dog, brave and quiet a lot like us Canadians, and as I said earlier friend to all without descrimination.


They are around all year long.

What a better representative, winter hardy, indigenous across the country, and also known as the Canada Jay.

I used to feed these beautiful little birds out of my hand as a child.

It's all ours. The Canada jay!

Not black and white, but proudly grey-- not in a "sitting on the fence kind of grey", but a proud and "marrying way" that is symbolic of all of our diversity of thought, culture, and inclusivity that is the Canadian persona.

Communicative. Smart! ( Wiisagejaak even has "sage" in this spelling of it!)

Trickster! Stories told of the whiskey jack are often humorous.

Adopting the Gray Jay as our Canadian bird could open up Canadian stories of "Wiisagejaak" and the First Nations, and "Whiskey Jack" and our early pioneers, and "Canada Jay" joining in our Canada Day picnics today.

Intelligent, humble, steadfast and true, the grey jay represents who we are as Canadians. May I say during good times and bad times (in this case our grey jay remains here throughout all the seasons) Canadians reach out to help and support others.

Intelligent, humble, steadfast and true, the grey jay represents who we are as Canadians. May I say during good times and bad times (in this case our grey jay remains here throughout all the seasons) Canadians reach out to help and support others.

I wanted to pick something that was native to Canada and was not already an offical bird of one of our Provinces. This bird fit the bill in everyway.

Gray Jays are very huggy and cute, and they're fluffy. They're an excellent symbol of Canada and are the cutest birds ever.

I would like to vote for the Blue Jay as Canada's National Bird. I love its attitude and it's colour. I's my favourite bird by far and stays with us on the worst of winter days. If its official name is the Gray Jay, that's the bird for me.

The Gray Jay.
Truly, a great Canadian. Across Canada, North to South throughout the Canadian Shield, friendly, tough, and hardy.
And Beautiful !!! The Canadian Jay, Gray Jay, or Whiskey Jack is the most amazing and yet unobtrusive Canadian... with character!
Simply magnificent.
And worthy of serious consideration among many other wonderful and important feathered friends.

Anyone who lives at a lake or in the forest is never alone. Just pull out something to eat and a Whisky Jack will show up.They are a real friend just like Canadians.

The gray jay is also known as the CANADA jay. It has not already been selected by a province or territory. It is friendly stays in Canada all year long and is quietly assertive.

Now this is a true northern bird. One of the friendliest of the bunch.

Whenever you start a fire or make any noise in the bush...the Whiskey Jack is always there to greet you.

I have seen them in the Northern part of Canada in action and learned a lot about them. They are truly an amazing Canadian Bird!

It is my favorite bird.

I love the Gray jay I think they are so pretty, and they are the only bird that I know off will come right to you and eat from your hand, they will also take food from your plate if your not careful. I enjoyed the Gray jay so much I even put them on video some years ago they were coming right to my door and just waiting for me to give them food. My tapes some how got misplaced which make me very sad to think about, which I still had the tape.

The Gray jay is so cute and so curious. I just love them, also they are not as noisy as the loud Blue jay.

I was x- country skiing a couple of years ago in the Rockys. We stopped for a bite of a sandwich, and being a bit of a goof, I held the sandwich in mouth and along came a Whiskey Jack, landed on my nose and helped itself the my sandwich. It was so delightful.

we called them camp robbers because anything left outside was gone

I chose the gray jay as it stays all year round a truly Canadian bird! Not so colourful or striking but solid and beautiful

What could be more appropriate than the Gray (Canada) Jay? Swooping down through the woods to greet you - swift, confident, quiet. This is OUR bird.

I saw a gray jay recently, beautiful and majestic. Also, friendly just like Canadians.

the gray jay should win over the loon ...although I do love loons ...the Gray jay is here year round

The Whiskey Jack was and is the constant companion of explorers, hunter and hikers. Always there to fool us out of some food and provide some entertainment and companionship in the woods.

Intelligent, friendly, adorable and found in all provinces and territories of Canada. Truly a one of a kind Canadian bird.

i learned to appreciate the whiskey Jack in northern Alberta
Watching how ithe whisky jack interacted with its environment and its survival was stunning
Friendly and courageous this is truly Canada bird

I have had many Gray Jays perch on my arm to get a piece of bread (which I always carried in my pocket )
They are brave yet gentle, just like most Canadians.

Grey Jays are so friendly and will eventually eat right out of your hand.

I first met this wonderful friendly bird while backpacking in the deep woods in Nova Scotia 18 years ago. While I was eating my breakfast a Gray jay flew and landed in my plate after I had set it down for a few min. I had never seen one before. When I got home I did some research on the bird. I hope the Grey Jay wins and eventually gets renamed to the Canadian Grey Jay. The Gray jay truly represents the nature of the Canadian Sprit.

I would vote for anything on the list that's NOT a Common Loon. Enough already.

Whiskey Jacks fighting for food, video clip recorded at Garibaldi Lake, BC, Canada,

There is no other bird that is more distinctly Canadian than the Gray Jay.

The Gray Jay has many features to recommend it. More people should be aware of this wonderful bird! A colleague of mine first promoted it to me as the choice for Canada's national bird and listed David Bird's reasons which included its primary residency year round in Canada, its intelligence, its personality, its ease of recognition, and so on (see below). After encountering it directly for the first time last weekend on a trail in Algonquin park where a few of them came to take food out of my hand, I'm completely sold on this bird as a great representative for Canada.
David Bird's reasons for naming the Gray Jay (from Montreal Gazette):
"1)Found in all thirteen provinces and territories; it is only barely found in the U.S., in the Rocky Mt. region and Alaska;...
2) A member of the corvid family, arguably the smartest birds on the planet;
3) Extremely friendly toward humans like all Canadians, often found panhandling on cross-country ski trails;
4) Very hardy like all Canadians, having highly adapted itself to living in very cold regions;
5) Figures strongly in First Nations folklore, also called the whiskey jack;
6) Is not an endangered species and thus, not at risk of disappearing;
7) Figures prominently in the boreal forest ecological zone, constituting a vast portion of our country worthy of protection and under pressure from clear-cutting and oil and gas development;
8) Not a hunted species, so it is not shot by Canadians;
9) Not an official bird species for any of the 10 provinces and recognized territories nor any other country (common loon is Ontario’s bird; snowy owl is Quebec’s bird)
10) Formerly called the Canada jay by ornithologists; its French name is mésangeai du Canada and its Latin name is Perisoreus canadensis!)
11) Stays in Canada year-round
12) Not flamboyant in its appearance, best representing the conservative nature of Canadians!
13) Not regarded as an obnoxious or nuisance species (like the Canada goose which is culled in the U.S.!)
14) Cannot be confused with any other bird species (99.6 per cent of Canadians cannot tell the difference between a raven and a crow!)
15) Not a circumpolar species, i.e., not found in other northern countries (as are the snowy owl and raven)"

Welcomes strangers to it's woods, alert, friendly to a fault, will negotiate for food.

I just completed a month long summer vacation in Nopiming Provincial Park where I the gift of nature blessed us with many bird sightings! As we paddled we beheld loons, bald eagles, golden eagles, turkey vultures, hawks, kingfishers, Osprey, Merganser duck and more! As we slept the owl communicated loudly at night and we saw it flying near by. The Gray Jay visited us as we sat outdoors and accepted our food gifts! Though I love all the birds I saw, I totally agreed with Robert Batemans concepts of what bird best represents Canada! The 'Canada' Jay is more accessible to all Canadians!

Ever since the first time I saw a Whisky Jack, I have been fascinated by these beautiful birds. I have not seen one in 25 years since moving from my home town Kenora, Ontario, to the ugly overcrowded big city Toronto. I would dearly love to see one again with my own eyes and hopefully to have my camera with me when I see one again.

The Grey Jay is one of the most intelligent birds in the world and is friendly. It is not a provincial or national bird. It is not culled in the States like the Goose. And the American eagle does not steal it's food. It thrives in the cold and is awesome.

I'm delighted that the Gray Jay is a mostly Canadian-specific corvid, that it's not hunted, and that it's a gregarious bird. Let's celebrate our uniqueness as Canadians by voting for a smart and friendly bird that's really only found here in all of our 13 provinces!

It's time to change it back to "Canada Jay".

This bird is found across Canada
Unlike some of the other birds that have been put forward. Some of the other birds are provincial birds and should not qualify in this contest.

So I feel this is an appropriate choice. And until some person- probably an American- changed its name was known as the Canada Jay.

One of rare bird adapt to follow and stay around human

This bird is so like Canadians in general. Just a good solid character. Resides almost exclusively in Canada. Comfortable where ever in Canada.

friendly, loyal, year round canadian

The original name of the Gray Jay was the Canada Jay. Till we let a bunch of Americans rename it. Before we make it our national bird we should correct that nonsense.Please don't select the Canada Goose, blight on the landscape. On a par with sh*t hawks i.e., Ring Necked Gulls.

Oiseau visible d'est en ouest du Canada. Typique de la forêt boréale.

The hikers favorite Bird!
The Whiskey Jack is a delight to anyone that has one land on their sholder or eat a Treat from your hand. I think they are well liked by all Canadians. More Important they are not any of Canada's Provinical Birds. The Common Loon and Snow Owl are already Provinical Birds. I aso love our Stellers Jay BC's Provinical Bird. So far this Gray or Canada Jay is leading the votes for Canada's Bird also Please call then Canada Jay for Canada's National Bird representing all Canada. I hope all Canadians can enjoy what should have Canada's Bird for years The Whiskey Jack.

Intrepid, sassy, bold, and smart. Sounds Canadian to me.

I am drawn to the jay because it is not already designated as a Provincial bird and it's territory is Canada year round, well, except for that little spit of land called Alaska.

These birds are very friendly and trusting - good qualities that most Canadians share. Also, they spend winters here -'nuff said right there.

Gray Jay all the way!
The Loon is the bird of Ontario, the Snowy Owl is of Quebec. The Canada Goose spends a lot of its time 'going south for the winter' and being culled by our U.S. neighbors because they are a bother to them.
The Gray Jay is found in each of our Canadian province/territories. It is friendly, it has a beautiful wholesome welcoming song. It is gray! Gray like our canadian winter clouds can be, gray like our spring and autumn fog. Gray, not flamboyant or loud or rude, gray, a relaxed neutral yet important colour .. Just like us Canadians!!
Gray Jay all the way. C'Mon Canada. Vote Gray Jay eh!

I just like them

We used to feed these smart and beautiful birds everytime we went camping @ Nopaming Provincial Park in Manitoba, Canada. They would travel in threes and almost like clock-work, they would visit us usually at breakfast, lunch and dinner. haha!!! But alas, we haven't seen then for about 3 years.

Ok, I think I've finally made my decision! The selection criteria I used are:
1. Year-round resident in all provinces and territories (could be viewed by any Canadian and not reliant on foreign habitats)
2. Not already used by another jurisdiction (e.g. province or country)
3. Not a listed species (not about to disappear, could likely be viewed in the future — we don't want to be like California with an extirpated symbol, the grizzly)
And I got:
1. Northern Hawk Owl
2. Gray Jay (aka Canada Jay, whiskeyjack)
3. Common Raven
4. Boreal Chickadee
Then I applied the criteria that it is viewed favourably by Canadians (the Northern Hawk Owl is essentially unknown to most Canadians except the birding community and the Raven is unfortunately maligned by many non-indigenous people)...and there were 2 left:
1. Gray Jay
2. Boreal Chickadee
Then I chose the one that is most likely to be encountered by Canadians and got the Gray Jay. Both are absent from the prairies, but the Boreal Chickadee is additionally absent from the lower mainland of BC. Additionally, the name whiskey-jack "was taken from Wiskedjak, Wisagatcak, Wisekejack, or other variations of a word used in the Algonquian family of aboriginal languages of eastern Canada to designate a mischievous, transforming spirit who liked to play tricks on people... The Gray Jay is thus the only Canadian bird for which a name of aboriginal derivation has been commonly used in English." (Hinterland's Who's Who)

I've had the same two Gray Jays around my home for the last 7 years. They're smart, learn to adapt to conditions, friendly, quiet speakers, and beautiful. A metaphor for Canadians?

They may now have the name Gray Jay but I will always remember them as " Whiskey Jacks "

When I was working in North Western Ontario, I spent considerable time of my working life in the bush in all seasons of the year. Whenever you stopped for a bite to eat or boiled up a pot for tea they would appear and wait for that inevitable hand out. They would perch on the Skidoo handles, while you ate lunch, or hop about on the table picking up fish scraps as you cleaned fish.

In my opinion "Whiskey Jacks" epitomize the spirit and grandeur of the Canadian North and are the ideal Avian species to portray as Canada's National Bird

C'est un oiseau presque complètement endémique au Canada. Il aime les gens et est sympathique et amical comme les canadiens.

Il n'est l'emblème d'aucune province, il aidera sans doute à protéger la forêt boréale s'il devient notre emblème.

Si d'élire un «Oiseau National» signifie voter pour un oiseau qui réside toute sa vie dans le pays où il est naît je vois mal comment on peut voter pour une autre espèce que le Mésangeai du Canada dont +/-90% des individus vivent toute l'année en territoire canadien.
Par conséquent détenir le statut de résident permanent est un critère qui devrait exclure tous les oiseaux qui sont en quelque sorte des «snowbirds» par nécessité alimentaire.

De plus,n'étant pas à ce jour l'oiseau emblématique de provinces ou de territoires canadiens le place en haut de la liste des candidats potentiels.

Un oiseau vivant et affrontant toutes les saisons d'un pays froid, parlez-moi d'çà..!!

Gray jays are naturally curious.

When my dad was a boy trips in the woods north of Lake Nipigon with his father were always monitored spring summer winter or fall by these friendly ( nosy? )aviators.

I have been subject to a pleasant lunch sharing ritual with them at Maligne Lake in Alberta.

Definitely a transcontinental candidate for a national bird.

Pour sa répartition en toutes saisons dans l'ensemble des provinces canadienne.

Cet oiseau est présent dans la plupart des provinces sinon toutes.

Since many Canadians no longer venture out in the deep woods, they are unfamiliar with the Canada Jay. Once encountered, which species are endearing to youngsters; the Black-capped Chickadee & the Canada Jay. The former is the provincial bird of New Brunswick so let's pay proper recognition to the bird known well by the early settlers of Canada.

met my first Canada Jay hiking in Algonquin Park. A friendly, smart bird.

This bird has stolen my back bacon right off the skillet in the morning (Big Trout Lake Algonquin park) and was seen drinking from an aluminum cup full of my rye that evening. You have to love a bird like that. From back bacon to rye...what could be more Canadian. He might have even said sorry to me, but we had all been well into the rest of the rye by that point evening.

Cet oiseau est présent dans toutes les provinces et est très intelligent et sociable.

It is a bird who live in Canada all year, so we can say he is an endemic bird in Canada with a little territory in Northwest of USA. He is among the highly developed birds in the world. He like to be with people, he is not afraid with us.

Il est présent dans tout le Canada, et il ne représente aucune province!

Je vote pour le mésangeai du Canada car il est présent dans toutes les provinces et territoires et très peu présent dans d'autres pays, sauf le nord des États-Unis

Un oiseaux qui vient près de nous sans problème...

c'est un oiseau qui se retrouve dans l'ensemble du pays et qui n'est pas utilisé pour d'autrre représentation

Un oiseau qui est plaisant à rencontrer lors de nos randonnées. Il n'est pas gêné et aime venir partager notre diner.

Parce que c'est un oiseau qui vit au Canada 12 mois par année. Il est facile à voir et il aime se montrer au visiteur,travailleur forestier et au campeur. De plus il fait partie des oiseaux les plus évolués.

Je crois que le Mésangeai du Canada représente bien notre pays puisqu'il est présent dans chaque province et territoire.

Widespread and resident across Canada!

I grew up near Kenora, Ontario, and every year these beautiful birds would hang around our bird feeders. Sometimes I was fortunate enough to have them eat out of my hands. I love and admire their boldness and fearlessness approaching close to snatch food out of my hands.
I live in Toronto now ... and ever since moving here, I have not seen a single Whisky Jack in over 25 years.
25 years !!!!!!!!
I yearn to see one again.

Le mésangeai du Canada est un oiseau qu'on trouve dans plusieurs provinces. Il est débrouillard, vif et amical. C'est un bel oiseau, de taille moyenne et présent durant les 4 saisons.

The Gray Jay is a smart and inquisitive bird, and in Canada year-round. With its winter cold-storage habits, it could also prove to be an important indicator of a changing climate. I think the Gray Jay would be an apt representative for Canada in a changing world.

c'est un bel oiseau intelligent qu'on je retrouve qu'au Canada

The gray jay appears to live across the country so all people can connect with it. I also support choosing a bird that is not a provincial bird or on our currency to shed light on more bird species that are out there.

it's by far the most suitable choice - almost every individual of the species lives in Canada, it occurs in every province and territory, and the other two leading contenders (Common Loon and Snowy Owl) are already provincial birds.

Great bird. Former common name "Canada Jay" -- what more can I say?

I recall a camping trip across Newfoundland in 1967 after visiting Expo '67 in Montreal. Our first stop was Jonathan's Pond where we had Canada Jays feeding from our hands.

Many of the other popular choices are already provincially named birds. the Gray Jay is located in most provinces and territories. Raising awareness of this bird by recognizing it as our national bird would be of benefit to the population (both bird and people).

The Gray JAy always reminds me when I'm in Canada. Jay is curious, inquisitive, eager to steal shiny trinkets from you, a sneak, a camp companion. In Labrador he helped himself to my madeleine cookies; in Newfoundland he became best friends with us; in the Gaspe he sat on my thermos waiting to share breakfast; in Quebec he sat on my friend's head as my friend was trying to videotape him. quite the prankster ; I vote for the fun-loving GRAY JAY.

Il est exclusif au Canada par sa distribution et son habitat dans la forêt boréale. Oiseau intelligent, il est d'une grande adaptabilité.

Newly arrived from England as a Mining Surveyor to the Gold Mines of the Kirkland Lake area in Northern Ontario in 1957, I was taken hunting (my first time ever) for Grouse (fool-hens) and rabbits (snow-shoe hares), by a friend from the mine. After shooting two grouse and a rabbit, I decided that hunting was not for me, however, what happened next eradicated all of the angst I was feeling from my hunting experience. We were seated on an old log under the snow covered trees and I had just opened my wrapped sandwich and taken a bite when I felt something stroke my left cheek. I turned my head and looked straight into the eyes of this docile-looking gray bird sitting on my shoulder. I could not believe it, as it had appeared silently from nowhere. My friend, a local resident, laughed at my expression and said, he only wants a piece of your sandwich. I broke off a big chunk and he took it and disappeared as quietly as he had come. So, that is how I learned about Whiskey Jacks and their close relations to humans that they encountered in the North Woods. An experience I will never forget. Several years later I became a Birder and always enjoyed sightings of this wonderful, friendly, Canadian bird, which I then knew as a Canada Jay. David Bird, one of my favourite ornithological writers in Bird Watchers Digest, provides the perfect rationale for choosing this bird for Canada's National Bird and I am happy to add my vote to his.

I would like to see the Gray Jay celebrated. This Jay is across Canada and in many areas is called the Canada Jay. The Loon is celebrated by being the symbol on the $1.00 coin! The Gray Jay is a bird worthy to be our national bird.

Living in all parts of the nation, the Gray Jay is a fitting national symbol. Unfortunately it has much more character than most Canadians, which may rule it out as our avian representative.

The Whiskey Jack is a symbol of Canada's forests. I have often encountered this Gray Jay while hiking and canoeing. His antics are cheerful and bold.

I believe that the Gray Jay best represents Canada as it stays in Canada.

The bird is a beautiful gray and white which also represents Canada, or used
to before it got a lot warmer.

Gray Jay previously known as the Canada Jay can be found in many areas in Canada.

I like Whisky Jacks because of their willingness to interact and take advantage of human occupation; their apparent good humour and even sense of humour. I believe that they would be an excellent representative national bird.

The Jay is a bird that's in all areas of Canada; it's smart, active and hearty. Remains here year round and best of all no one really pays any homage to it. The Loon has a coin, other birds are Provincial icons but the jay is just there and should be recognized for the traits mentioned above. Thank you
Michael King

Petit oiseau qui est très sociable, je vais au parc et je les nourris avec des grains noirs spécialement pour les gaies bleus

I love the fact that this bird is named after an Aboriginal character.
They are also clever and have adapted to breed while there is still snow.

The Gray jay is a cheeky (watch out, can steal your sandwich) northern bird found in every province and one which resides here year round. This latter fact should be a necessity for a national bird. Why would we have a national bird which migrates - leaves the country for half the year?

Jays, crows, ravens - all corvids, all my favorites and long may they endure!

This bird is friendly, funny and likes to be around others. Says Canadian in its own way!

We should nominate something that speaks to Canada, which is widely distributed within Canada and not much beyond our borders.

While the Common Loon is a magnificent bird and everywhere in Canada, I would like to have a national bird which is more readily seen and identified by the general public. The Gray Jay fits the bill: ubiquitous with a few exceptions, resident in the country all year round, highly intelligent and playful as all corvids, and seemingly quite tolerant of human presence.

It is important to me that our national bird resides in Canada all year. The Gray Jay lives mostly in Canada and they are superbly adapted to our winters.

As noted by others, Gray Jay is a friendly and inquisitive bird found in every Province and at home with humans. In the past it used to also be called Canada Jay. It is at home in the wilderness as well as among people in towns. It is also a survivor in all that climate and weather can toss its way across Canada and throughout the year. A good national symbol!

C'est un oiseau que l'on retrouve dans toutes les provinces du Canada et toute l'année. De plus c'est un oiseau qui n'est pas farouche et qui ne craint pas l'homme.

I am voting for the Gray Jay simply because it isfound in every one of Canada's provinces and territories. They are lovely, friendly, birds that are not too fearful of humans and will even feed from one's hand! A good model for the rest of us!

Les autres espèces sélectionnées sont déjà des oiseaux emblèmes d'autres pays nordiques : p.ex. Le plongeon huart ainsi que le Gerfaut = Islande !

An incredibly resourceful bird which not only is tolerant of the cold Canadian climate but seems to be dependent on the frigid winter temperatures! Unlikely so many of 'our' birds which are but brief, fair-weather summer residents (like the Common Nighthawk - why bother coming at all?!), Gray Jays rarely vacate home territories, let alone leave the country. As a consummately Canadian bird, to my mind the Gray Jay is rivaled only by the ubiquitous Black-capped Chickadee, which departs home territories only when winter-weather and food forecasts are both grim and remains remarkably cheerful, even in the coldest weather.

resident bird

It's in every province, it's bold, it's handsome.

Less iconic than a loon, the Gray Jay is perfectly suited to symbolize Canada precisely because of its low key status. Its hardiness, nesting even as the snow flies, caching food in the deep freeze of the dark months, is a characteristic most Canadians identify with as a matter of pride. It is fearless yet companionable -- and aren't those Canadian values? -- and many have delighted in having a Gray Jay land on their hand to take a snack. One of its common names is Canada Jay; it's already recognized for its suitability as a national symbol. Lastly, naming it our national bird would be a tribute to Dan Strickland, whose relentless research over decades in Algonquin Park has revealed so much about this lovely species and the habitat it lives in.

I chose the Canada Jay (we should get its former name back!) because it's typically Canadian: friendly, understated, not flashy, always where the action is and willing to accept any handout available!

Gray Jays are huggy

Gray Jay is a friendly bird just like Canadians (although it could be described as somewhat less polite). the other top contenders are provincial birds so they should be eliminated from the competition. Everyone loves Gray Jays and they are found in all provinces and territories.


I see the loon is in the lead. I love loons but a bit ironic that a bird that leaves for the winter would be Canada's national bird. Perhaps a nod to retiree's and their winter vacations? The gray jay is a clever and cheerful Canadian resident for the entire year so I think it deserves my vote!

The Gray Jay is the obvious choice; its other common names include Whiskey Jack and Canada Jay. Come on, Canada Jay! Plus, its song sounds like the opening three notes of our national anthem. What more do you want? :)

Survives the winter like a champion!

I am voting for the GRay Jay because he looks like Sir John A. MacDonald with the white bald spot and the grey half halo. Thanks!

The gray Jay is our favourite bird. It is friendly and gregarious and attractive. We love it when the grey jays come around. That is my vote for Canada's national bird. My husband will also be casting a vote and he uses the same email as I do.
Thank you

Beautifully and wholly represents Canada and is not already a provincial bird. Also who can say no to Whisky Jack? :)

Gray jay / Whiskey jack deserves to be the National Bird of Canada.

The essays submitted by other knowledgable birders was compelling enough for me to choose the Canada Jay to represent our nation.

Canada is mostly boreal forest and the king of the boreal forest in the whiskey jack. Loons are common and everywhere, Whiskey Jacks yell Canada, in fact why are there no NHL teams called the whiskey jacks?

Feisty, smart, handsome and almost exclusively Canadian from sea to sea to sea! Perfect!

The Grey Jay refpresents the best of Canadian characteristics. :
They are loyal and mate for life,
hardy and intrepid they nest in the dead of winter,
their sunny dispositions greet you on the trail
they stay home not migrating south when temperatures drop
Who better to represent the great country of Canada.

They are smart. They mate monogamously for life. They live right across Canada. The are common looking but quite beautiful. I love the nickname of camp robber or whiskey jack.
I think they typify Canadians. Unprepossessing. Overall wonderful with a slight propensity to 'disobedience'

A mostly nondescript fuzzy-looking bird of the wilds (you don't find them in cities!) and exclusive to a cold or northern experience. Their curiousity and boldness can disarm anyone.

No essay just some interesting facts for the Gray Jay found online.

"The gray jay is found in all 13 Canadian provinces and territories."

"In keeping with our reputation for being friendly, the gray jay is legendary for its outgoing, social ways. “It is one of the few birds in the wild that will feed right out of your hand — even bringing its babies along to eat,”

“The gray jay is hearty and resourceful — just like we are,”

“A member of the corvid family, the gray jay may be the smartest bird on the planet.”

This bird is about as Canadian as you can get!

The whiskey jack really is an all-Canadian bird, living only in northern North America. Besides the Canadian geographic range this bird has a very Canadian personality, likes to live in the wilderness but also very friendly and companionable.

An intelligent bird, that withstands the harshness of Canada's winters to not only breed...but to do so while winter is still raging!

The loon and snowy owl are great, but are already provincial birds.

I think that because the gray Jay stays in Canada all year long, that it is truly a perfect for the Canada national bird. Thanks for letting me vote!

Definitely this social, friendly bird has my vote!
I agree that birds already assigned as official Provincial birds such as the Snowy Owl and Loon should not be in the running as Canada's official bird - to avoid confusion and potential conflicts of interest. After reading some of the other essays on the Gray Jay and doing a little more research, my vote is without a doubt for this contender.
Viewing images of the Gray Jay online proves beyond a doubt how warm and friendly this bird is given the unending number of photos depicting them interacting so frequently and easily with humans - bringing smiles instead of fear to the recipients.
Happy to have learned more about this bird (and the others) today ... thanks RCGS!

Mostly in Canada, looks great, and are friendly to humans, just like Canadians.

I have encountered Whiskey Jacks at a number of ski resorts, particularly at Whistler, as well as on mountain hikes on both ends of the country and they would make a fantastic national bird. They are plucky, friendly, and unthreatening, as I like to idealize the Canadian abroad, good team players, and unafraid to approach people and situations that they don't know. I can`t think of another bird that lifts my spirits in quite the same way when I see it.

Whiskey jacks remind me of home. Skiing in the winter with my father and hiking with my family in the summer.

Whiskey Jack rolls off the tongue well. Also a Grey Jay sounds very northern and cold

When I was four yeas old, living in Norther Saskatchewan I remember my father showing me how smart the Whisky Jacks are and how wonderful it was getting them to take bits of bread from between your lips - usually without touching you. Later on I became an archaeologist working in the Boreal Forest in Manitoba and Ontario. I had at that time read a lot of Algonquian stories of Wisakijac the trickster including "Tales of the Sandy Lake Cree". While doing a survey for petroglyph sites I showed the tricks to my work partner who was a few years younger and told him some of the native stories. He later became a very successful fantasy writer and I was pleased to see the impact of the Whisky Jack in his stories.

This bird is resident Canada wide, it remains in Canada through the hardships of winter, it doesn't run off to the south when the going gets tough and it is hardy, friendly and a survivor. What better pick to represent Canada.

What is a more Canadian bird? The gray jay a bird of our great boreal forests and subalpine wilderness. It range extends to all thirteen provinces and territories.

Fearless, hardy and smart, the gray jay will mimic the calls of predators as a warning to other birds. Its other name 'whiskey-jack' derives from the Algonquian name for this mischievious trickster.

Distinctive in appearance, but never gaudy, the gray jay cannot be confused with other birds. It is also a survivor thriviving year round in summer heat and winter cold. It is also not endangered and anyone venturing into its habitat will soon see this bird.

Yay Gray Jay

Too many reasons!🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧

The Whiskey Jack whose range is almost entirely in Canada, is probably one of the most familiar birds to hikers, campers, vacationers and vistors to our Country. It shares many of the best qualities that Canadians are known for throughout the world. I feel it would be an excellent national Bird for Canada. A true symbol of our beautiful Canadian wilderness and our amazing people. So my vote goes to the Whiskey Jack, the Grey Jay, our true CANADA Jay.

I like the birds trusting nature and it's range.

Smart bird. Whiskey is in the name. A nod to John A MacDonnald. He had whiskey. And he was a smart bird.

I like that this bird exsists in Canada's north, in all our provinces and territories and is associated and often seen by campers , canoeists, outdoor adventurers, etc. I think the name "whiskey jack" should be used instead of "gray jay". I learned that "whiskey jack" was taken from variations of a word "whisked jack" which is used in the Algonuquian family of aboriginal languages of eastern Canada to designate a mischievous spirit who liked to play tricks on people.
The Gray Jay is thus the only Canadian bird for which a name of aboriginal derivation has been commonly used in English . My first choice or name for this bird would be "Whiskey Jack" and secondly "Canada Jay" and thirdly "Gray Jay". I also like that this bird doesn't travel south in winter and stays in Canada and that the pairs of birds ( family) stay together. It is sad that all the babies don't remain with their parents after birth but our country with its winters is often harsh and this harshness is reflected in the birds early life. Although some young die, some pair with other birds and still form families. The fact these birds nest early in the year is unique from other birds. Also, I find it interesting the way they save food all year with their sticky saliva and then hide same under tree bark but not in one spot. This is how they survive all winter and I feel this fact can be compared to how the early natives people and settlers in Canada survived.

The Gray Jay is pretty much exclusive to Canada. It's ability to breed in winter conditions shows it is truly "Canadian".

The Gray Jay breeds in the winter in Canada, and it not a bird of prey.

Though I have never seen this bird because my birding is mainly an adjunct to residency on the Northumberland Strait and Lake Ontario, I am sold on the basis of the essays by those I respect (Bateman and Bird). Whether the designation "jay" means anything ornithologically or not, it has a nice connection with our only MLB baseball team and is an improvement on the noisy blue one. We could consider renaming at least their fly balls "gray jays".

The Grey Jay reminds me of myself, I'm sorta grey, average height and weight, store my food in a freezer, lived all over Canada and enjoy the odd whiskey......

I love the elusiveness of the Gray Jay and also it's curiosity.

It's a bird with character, found across the country, winter and summer.

If we reinstate its original name, Canada Jay, it will be an even more appropriate choice. I like Dr. David Bird's reasons for choosing this bird.

The gray jay has nothing going for it currently-- but that can be changed. Prop the little guy up. It needs this!

It's not a provincial bird, and it's found almost exclusively in Canada (and all across Canada).

I like Gray Jays

A brilliant member of the brilliant Corvid family, Grey Jays are masters of disguising their nests. One of the more odacious of all birds I witnessed first hand, a Whiskyjack steal my breakfast out of the frying pan I was using, while camping.
Inventive, tool using strategists they have survived and thrived in areas other birds would not. This speaks to their Corvid ingenuity. I think they are the most beautiful birds, and certainly the most entertaining.

Whiskey Jack is not a provincial bird and it is found throughout all parts of Canada. It is also a very friendly bird, like Canadians.

très belle emblème pour tout le Canada

I love Grey Jays for their intelligence and charm, and I support whatever bird David Bird is rooting for.

My first thought was to vote for the Loon as it reminds me of Northern Ontario & being in cottage country. I wanted to learn more about it and other birds before I voted so my vote was an informed one. I was very pleased to learn about the Gray Jay and just how much more Canadian this little bird is. It's year round range location is predominantly in Canada and seems to be the most Canadian range of any of the bird selections in this vote. The Gray Jay/Whiskey Jack is also known for it's trusting nature - how much more Canadian can you get than that?! I hope more voters agree so this little Canadian can be our national bird.

this bird is a solid and logical choice - found throughout the country, easily identifiable, has Canada in both its English & French name, a treat to be around (like most Canadians), many nicknames (like many Canadians), not a nuisance type bird, would be a great help in encouraging people to reconnect with nature - have to go a forest to observe them.

The Gray Jay is the perfect bird to represent Canada for many reasons. The Gray Jay is a classic symbol of the rugged north, able to tough out the harshest of winters yet is a quiet, unassuming visitor who is never too far away. They are incredibly friendly and with its subdued plumage it is never garish or "in your face", just like Canada. Gray Jays are found in every province/territory in our great nation and most importantly, it is not already an official bird anywhere in North America. There are a number great choices, but do we really want to be known as a "pest" the way the Canada Goose is or have our national bird be shared with a province or state? I would say, no.

After reading descriptions and arguments for many of the candidates, I also feel the fray jay represents us the best!

Whiskey Jacks are friggin rad.

I am fascinated by Gray Jay or more commonly, Whisky Jack. Whisky Jacks are very friendly to humans, showing no fear. The will grab food from your hand.

go grayjay

The Gray rocks!

Occurs in all provinces and territories and almost endemic to Canada, typical of Canadian boreal forest which is our most important ecological zone in need of protection, smart and friendly to humans, resistant to cold weather, beautiful if subtle coloration, not presently a provincial bird, what more do you want?

Although I live in Toronto and am more familiar with the Blue Jay, I can't think of a better bird to represent all of Canada than the Gray jay. I look forward to my next trip north to become more familiar with it.

I would be happy to have any of several birds as our national bird. I would like to be able to vote any number of times. However, I do love the Whiskey Jack. It is named after an indigenous trickster spirit. I named my white sled dog Whiskey Jack, as well as my cottage, Whiskey Jack Lodge. The grey jay is a friendly, relatively quiet bird. Small flocks of them would occasionally float onto tree branches around my cottage. They are good forest companions, and likely brightened the days of our ancestors when they first came to settle in our forests. I think that the Whiskey Jack would make a great Canadian representative bird.

quiet friendly loyal trusting...what we all would like to be!

They'll take lunch right out of your hand. They have no fear it seams. A warm wonderful greeting in the north that's what CVQY5Kanada's all about.

The Gray Jay is a popular bird in Canada. It is a friendly bird that is suitable to represent the reputation of Canadians. This little fellow will land on your hand or shoulder with little prompting if food is offered.

Folklore claims that Gray Jays, commonly known as Whiskey Jacks are the souls of dead woodsman in The Canadian north.

It would be very suitable for Canadians to have this bird represent our friendly Nation.

quiet, unassuming, friendly, loyal...all qualities one could want in a true Canadian

Have heard these are intelligent, trusting, trainable, resourceful birds. Have seen a few down here (GTA)

We hand feed these birds at our cabin every summer.

David Bird's article on the grey jay won me over - a most compelling argument!

Could there be anything more magical than having a tiny, wild bird perch trustingly on your fingers to take food from your hand?

100 gray jay votes

Attractive, gentle, unafraid, friendly, medium sized and gets what it wants by using its head. Perfect representation of a Canadian. I was once fishing and taking a break to eat when one appeared. I put my sandwich down and broke off a piece to feed it. When I turned back to get another piece, his buddy was flying off with my sandwich! I watched as they joined up a short distance and had a great meal.

Better known as the Camp Robber or Canadian Jay, is a silent flyer, stays all winter long, their language is a whisper except when calling for a mate.

The Gray Jay is the only mostly canadian bird (almost endemic to Canada with some in Alaska and very locally in Northeast USA) (Breeding and Wintering) all other birds candidat are allready state birds and are common in USA as well

I have seen the gray jay as far north as the Yukon, Interior BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario (that's all my travels!). A friendly guy willing to share your lunch if you leave your window open, pops by for a visit right on time for meals everyday. Great company when picking morel mushrooms in spring and if you pay attention to him, he will let you know when danger is near. Acclimatized to all weather (summer or winter), he represents every part of being Canadian.

The Gray jay gets my vote. It is gentle and tough, social but not obnoxious, wild yet friendly, quiet yet skilled vocalists, and trusting. Sounds Canadian.
Gray jays seem to ignore the cold. It is generally the first bird to nest and lay eggs in the nest season, often before the end of winter. The sub-adults will help raise the nestlings and fledglings. Family groups are often seen flying about or calling together.
The sight or sounds of Gray jays in the bush always gives me a tingle. They like trappers and bush workers (especially pipeliners) because they get food handouts, but yet the jays don't depend on those handouts for survival. They also like to eat bog cranberries. Bog cranberries and Gray jays to me are symbolic of acid bogs which are very important in the ecology of the boreal forest. Yet Gray jays can also be found in the parklands and the grassland coulees.
Gray jays are usually the first birds that kids discover during camping trips.

About 5 years ago, I was gardening on my back deck. An adult Whiskey Jack brought a fledgling with her, and they sat on my railing. The adult bird then left the baby bird, and didn't come back for over an hour. I fed the baby some water soaked bread, and just worked with him around. This continued on for the whole summer, with the adult bird bringing the youngster, and leaving him for up to 2 hours at a time-I was the bird daycare! I ended up calling him Wheezy, and the next year, he came, and brought others with him. Now there are about 12 of them who come for handouts. They all give a little thank-you tweet as they take off with their bread. If I don't notice them, Wheezy(I'm pretty sure it's him) will stare in a window until I get some food and go outside. He has even hung on the panes of the door and rapped on the glass. I would love for these lovable rascals to be our national bird!

found across Canada..friendly, unassuming, stays here all year

For all the reasons David Bird shared! A bird of the north, found pretty much only in Canada, nesting when snow still blankets the spruce trees. The Canada Jay!

This bird is so uniquely ours, it seems a perfect choice, except for the unfortunate boring name gray jay. Whiskey jack has more character but lacks a logical reason for this name. I love the idea of a name change, if chosen, to Canada Jay! When acclimatized to receiving food scraps, they can, unfortunately, become quite a annoyance, and can create conflict between those aghast at the inappropriate feeding of a wild creature, and those sucked in by this bird's unabashed begging. Either way, encounters with the grey jay are always memorable.

I have fond memories of this friendly little visitor coming to our campsites looking for handouts! Always entertaining and enjoyed by children and adults alike.

gentle, loyal, unassuming, and friendly bird found across Canada..stays here all year !!

A truly CANADIAN bird who greets me at almost every campsite.

Of course I'm biased but I believe the Whiskey Jack is the best representative of our Canadian identity, not as lofty as the American Eagle but big enough to hold is own against all comers.

Best representation of our country and our people - friendly, loyal and brave (stays over winter), and is in every province.

It's found all over Canada, and it's a friendly bird.

Was moose hunting, was quite loanly and cold till this grey jay came to see me, he seemed to know all the rules of hunting "don't make any noise" etc. I ended up sharing my lunch with him, what a cool experience in the middle of nowhere in northern Ontario.

Smart, gentle and polite birds! Very Canadian!

I thought David M. Bird's essay was very convincing. I think Gray Jay is the best candidate for Canada's national bird.

They have eaten out of my mouth, it's the only other living thing that has ever eaten out of my mouth, enough said.

Those who have written in previously have pretty well delineated numerous reasons for choosing the Grey Jay as our national bird. I am actually surprised that we have not had one previous to now. There isn't much to add for reasons but based on the geographical area and its characteristics and history it would make an excellent choice.

Intelligent, hearty, representative of living in cold and harsh climates. A truly Canadiab bird!

I agree with Dr. Bird's arguments in favour of the Gray Jay! Also, I have especially happy memories of watching individuals and pairs of jays float across the trails just in front of us as my dad and I would go hiking in the woods (all seasons) just outside of town when I was a teen.

My first remembered encounters with the seemingly fearlessness and friendly Grey Jay are from camping in my home province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Grey Jays, unlike most other birds, actually came into the camp site and I remember talking to them and feeding them, like some kindly neighbours who had dropped by for a cup of tea. What a great set of attributes to represent our nation, "fearless and friendly". The Grey Jays are not fearless enough that they are foolhardy, but enough to let down barriers that would stop them from experiencing more than being too cautious would allow. And friendly, unlike its more flashy and loud blue cousin, which parades its bold plumage and screams for attention from a distance, the Grey Jay quietly comes into your space and makes you feel privileged to interact with it. Its plumage is plain, but its personality more than makes up for that, with attributes Canadians admire and hope to emulate.
Then there's geography. The Grey Jay was once also referred to as the Canada Jay because it lives in all ten provinces and three territories. It is almost as though the bird's domain was what determined the country's boundaries when the border lines were drawn. The gregarious Grey Jay, also known by the more jovial title, Whiskey Jack, is literally Canada's bird.
And finally, there is the Grey Jay's notoriety and a particularly respected referral; when an opinion concerning birds is required, there are few more knowledgeable and revered than wildlife artist and bird expert Robert Bateman. So, when the Canadian naturalist says his vote for Canada's national bird is the Grey Jay, that's good enough for me!

I admit I knew very little about the Whisky Jack/Gray Jay/Canada Jay until I came here by accident. I was researching Ravens in general and happened upon this site. Initially drawn into larger birds like the Snowy Owl and Canada Goose, reading what many experienced people have said about this clever corvid, I say we bring this delightful creature into the forefront! This little gem of a bird is almost exclusively Canadian and shares the personality traits of what I envision Canadians to be: Friendly, clever, not brash or loud - delightful! Gray Jay all the way, eh?

Cet oiseau est partout sur le territoire et aime la compagnie des humains donc très facile à observer

I first encountered the Whiskey Jack when I was a small boy on the eastern slopes of the Alberta rocky mountains where my family often went camping and fishing. My grandpa introduced us to this wonderful bird, and much like many other people, by holding out a piece of bread that the jay took from his fingers. I have since carried this on by introducing the Whisky Jack to my children and grand children to all of their delight. It is wonderful to see the look on a four year old's face when one of these beautiful birds glides from a nearby tree to take the pro offered piece of hotdog bun. If you are fortunate enough to be able to stay at one campsite for a few days the jays will land on your table to share your meals with you, but you must be wary as they will fly off with almost anything they can carry including your local butcher's finest double smoked bacon. How much more Canadian can you get than that? I rest my case.

I certainly remember this beautiful, fun, and bold bird growing up in the BC Interior.
My wife and I were snowshoeing at Lightning Lake in Manning Park today Sunday January 24. We stopped for lunch sitting in our van with the doors open, eating sandwiches and you guessed the uninvited charming Gray jay's arrived. The couple next to us in the parking lot also having lunch were so amused my feeding them from my hand. Yes these birds are one of my favourites, and yes i do agree our national bird. I was a great camper as a teen and we knew the gray jay[wiskey jack] also as a camp robber. If you left anything light enough lying around you may just have lost it.
I was able to take some wonderful pics with my iphone, just charmers for sure. We are going to make the park on a regular basis snowshoeing and trusting our real bird food to the Canadian Gray Jay.

just a few words . . . i am canadian, grew up in vancouver and lived all over BC. the whiskey jack / aka gray jay was a fine feathered friend just about everywhere i went. it is a canadian icon and deserves to be the national bird of canada!

Working as cooks on oil rigs and logging camps as well as more than one railroad camp
from British Colombia, Alberta, Yukon, NWT in the dead of winter the Wiskey Jack always brought a smile to everyone's face.
We'd set out food for them so we could watch them outside the cook house.

There is nothing more Canadian than these birds from -45° to +45° I've seen these hardie little bird thrive, from Salomon Arm, BC to the Arctic, how do they do it! Even the Ravens respect them! And get along with them...

This friendly Canadian ambassador follows the montane boreal forests down into the stateside national parks and forests, bringing joy to all who encounter it.
No other bird covers more of Canada and more seasons than this companion of skiers, picknickers, hikers, backpackers, and naturalists.

Le geai gris est un vrai oiseau boréal, comme la Canada

The Grey Jay is always there to greet me when I arrive at my cabin. They know I will have food for them (which I usually do) and they are great entertainment for me as they squabble with each other over the food.
Beautiful birds they is!!

Simple Logic!!

Gray jays are around Northern Ontario, in the winter months their lovely song
always attracts your attention

No Essay, just love the Jay! Our all year songbird, just like we Canadians who don't go South for the Winter.

A bird found everywhere in Canada, does not migrate and a friendly hardy bird. Not a nuisance and most abundant in this country compared to other countries. Hence a great national bird pick!

J'aime cet oiseau et en plus, il est présent dans toutes les provinces du Canada.

Best choice ever!

Distribution principalement canadienne. Sédentaire. Non circumpolaire contrairement aux Plongeon huard, Harfang des neiges, Grand Corbeau, etc. Intelligent comme les autres corvidés. Curieux. Familier (pas farouche). Livrée sobre. Opportuniste (alimentation). Résistant à notre climat. Placotage surprenant et amusant, sur un registre étendu. S'observe souvent par couple.

quintessentially Canadian and a good ambassador for the Boreal Forest - which needs protection!

On le retrouve partout au Canada et il n'est pas celui d'une province.

Il est facile à observer. Il vient facilement vers les humains. C'est un bel oiseau.

lets make a logical choice not an emotional one. The Gray jay likes being Canadian all year long just like me!

I've become a casual birder over the past years on many trips to Costa Rica so when I saw that there was debate regarding the selection of a National Bird for Canada I felt a need to contribute.

I fully stand by the selection of the Gray Jay as Canada's bird. I've read some of the comments and characteristics and it is clear that the Gray Jay best represents all Canadians in its features.

I use my visits to Costa Rica as a great argument for why we choose a specific bird. In a country that enjoys hundreds of species of birds, some migratory and many local, Costa Rica had a choice of many beautiful species for their national bird, including the show stopping Scarlet Macaw and the hands on favourite as most beautiful of the tropical birds, the Resplendent Quetzal. Their choice, however, is a Clay-Coloured Robin. A small, fairly non-descript looking bird (albeit beautiful in voice).

Their selection of the Robin was based on the Robin's ability to announce the coming rainy season to farmers, showing a marriage between wildlife and the people who come from the country. Its role is folkloric rather than selecting a bird because it has the right name or showy attributes.

The Gray Jay may be small and might not be a bird of prey but it is distinctly Canadian. It isn't a provincial bird but can be found in far reaching areas of the whole country. It isn't a nuisance goose, or a reclusive owl, or a prominent hawk (because we are desperate to follow in our bald eagle loving neighbours to the south, nor is it a common loon...but the gray jay is ours. A sturdy survivor, cunning, unafraid, not endangered and clearly Canadian.

I like the Gray Jay as it is a year round bird, in all of Canada and not already represented by a province! They are easily seen and heard too.

I think the whiskey jack should be it because it lives all across Canada ad is very friendly.

Oiseau magnifique qui accompagne les balades dans les boisés.

The Gray Jay should not only be Canada's official bird, it should also revert to its old name, Canada Jay. It's a fitting symbol for Canada because, unlike most other contenders, most of the population is resident here year-round.

Bring back the Canada Jay!

Suite à la chronique de Pierre Gingras de Radio-Canada (journaliste en botanique de La Presse), il nous a bien indiqué qu'il serait intéressant d'avoir un oiseau emblématique qui n'est pas l'emblème d'une province. Le Mésangeai est le Geai gris, qui facilement peut venir vers nous si on désire le nourrir. C'est un bel oiseau intelligent qui se trouve partout au Canada!

The Gray Jay is definitely the best choice. It is indisputably Canadian, has an admirable personality and has native folklore as a background history.

parce que cette oiseaux est trais beau et facile a observer rependu a la grandeur du Canada et son nom renferme le nom Canada.

J'aime le geai bleu en particulier car c'est un bel oiseau

I choose the Gray Jay because it is found everywhere in Canada and is here year round. I like that this bird is friendly, and quieter than many other birds.

Pour sa complicité avec les humains. Mais j'aurais aimé trouver le moqueur chat dans les choix pour son chant

bel oiseau, présent partout au Canada

Mésange ai, c'est l'oiseau qui passe l'hiver au chalet et facile à apprivoiser.

Je souhaite que cet oiseau soit choisi comme oiseau national, afin que le Canada ait comme titre officiel d'oiseau national un oiseau chanteur unique. C'est un oiseau qu'on voit dans le bois, assez silencieux, et il vient manger dans notre main. Il est très beau et sympathique.


petit oiseau très beau et sympatique

Je suis heureuse que l'on se donne enfin un oiseau emblématique pour bien nous représenter à travers le Canada. Et pourquoi pas un oiseau chanteur, qui illumine et nous fait sourire et ne représente rien de violent. Espérant que celui-ci sera ELU.

Espèce non choisie par une province ou un territoire.
Oiseau boréal qui reflète bien la nordicité du Canada.
Espèce bien distribuée au Canada.
Oiseau qui peut être familier avec l'Homme.

J'aime cet oiseau emblème

Resident across most of Canada, very charismatic bird.

Pour son intelligence, son goût et son adaptation du froid, j'adore le mésangeai du Canada.

Pour son caractère peu farouche
Pour sa beauté
Pour sa capacité de réserve
Pour ses déplacements silencieux

Awesome bird! Remember them specifically from camping in British Columbia. Known to grab bacon right out of our frying pan! LOL. Love them for all the reasons oulined.



Bel oiseau sociable et intelligent qui se retrouve sur tout le territoire du Canada. Il agaie nos forêts de conifères. Il ne représente pas déjà un autre territoire.

A wonderful friendly bird of the forrest.

Oiseau intéressant qui se laisse voir et approcher.

Cet oiseau curieux et social M'est apparut plus d'une fois au cour de mes longues et courtes randonnées, et cela, en toutes saisons. il est adapté à notre environnement et se débrouille toujours bien.

Oiseau facile d'approche,intelligent et doux,magnifique à observer,au beau plumage gris, blanc et noir et à l'œil vif . Il a un beau et doux sifflement. Il inspire la fierté, la loyauté et la droiture. Il nous représente bien ,nous les canadiens. Ce serait un bel oiseau emblématique du Canada.

Très bel oiseau que l'on voit souvent au Québec

Mésangeai du Canada

Extraordinaire oiseau souvent oublié et peu complimenté par les ornithologues et autres gens. Peu farouche, il s'approche de nous espérant un peu de nourriture en échange de sa proximité. Moi, je viens de la région de la Mitis et mes ancêtres bûcherons surnommaient cet oiseau des forêts: la pie de lunch.

Fier,accueillant,chaleureux et généreux, il représente bien ce peuple que nous sommes.

Le premier oiseau qui est venu manger dans mes mains.

La mésangeaie est un bel oiseau charmant, familier et nous représente bien. (en toute humilité)

Je crois que vous ne devriez pas avoir les espèces qui sont déjà des emblèmes aviaires provinciaux ou municipaux au Canada. Nous avons fait le même exercice pour trouver un emblème aviaire pour la ville de Mont-Tremblant et nous avions éliminé les oiseaux déjà emblèmes ailleurs au Canada. L'emblème aviaire de la ville de Mont-Tremblant est le Pic mineur.

C'est un oiseau magnifique ignoré depuis trop longtemps.

Le harfang et Huard déjà représentants de territoire.Le mésangeai représentante bien le Canada dont la beauté naturelle réside dans sa simplicité,son histoire et sa géographie.Personnalité ouverte,enjouée et curieuse.En plus d'un beau chant joyeux comme le sourire accueillant des Canadiennes et Canadiens.

On le retrouve à l'année dans tout le Canada et il n'est pas déjà choisi comme emblème aviaire d'une province.

In the northern woods of Quebec, the grey jay was always there following us as we were crosscountry skiing, very friendly and so so beautiful.
I absolutely love the grey jay.

Les corvidés sont des oiseaux intelligents et fascinants. Le mésangeai se retrouve partout au Canada et beaucoup moins ailleurs en Amérique que d'autres espèces. Malgré que je ne vis pas en forêt boréale mais en forêt feuillue mixte où le geai bleu est présent dans nos mangeoires tout l'hiver, celui-ci il est déjà reconnu à cause d'une équipe de baseball. Beaucoup des symboles canadiens dont le geai bleu, la feuille d'érable, le castor etc. se retrouvent en forêt feuillue (qui est une extraordinaire forêt diversifiée et colorée en automne), je crois qu'on devrait choisir un symbole qui est plus représentatif de la biodiversité du Canada.

C'est une bonne façon de faire connaître cet oiseau commun et social mais méconnu.

Je le trouve beau et sympathique🐤🐣

J'ai choisi le mésangeai du Canada

Cet oiseau habitant pratiquement tout le territoire canadien et n'ayant pas peur du froid ressemble aux habitants du pays : il est d'allure sobre, il s'intéresse aux gens et aime leur compagnie, il est vachement sympathique et amical, comme les Canadiens.

•Another familiar name, “whiskey-jack”, was taken from Wiskedjak, Wisagatcak, Wisekejack, or other variations of a word used in the Algonquian family of aboriginal languages of eastern Canada to designate a mischievous, transforming spirit who liked to play tricks on people.
•The Gray Jay is thus the only Canadian bird for which a name of aboriginal derivation has been commonly used in English.
•Perhaps sadly, whiskeyjack and the former English name of Canada Jay are both passing into disuse as more and more Canadians grow up with the present official English name of Gray Jay.

bel oiseau,intelligent et sociable

Ce serait bien que l'oiseau national ne soit pas aussi un oiseau provincial.

Oiseau très amical et facile d'approche comme les Canadiens!

Joli oiseau plaisant, non réprésenté par une province, soyons original et authentique qui porte le mot Canada, de surcroît.

Pour sa beauté mais surtout pour sa personnalité.

Oiseau sympathique et facile d'approche

Le plus accueillant des oiseaux quand on fait de la marche en forêt.

Best choice as it is Canada wide.

Cet oiseau est le meilleur ami du promeneur en forêt, où qu'il soit au Canada.

friendly, unassuming and loyal. found across Canada and suffers winter with us.

Encountered these visitors while participating with Scouts Canada in the woods of Nova Scotia. We often organized long running events in the bush, three to eight days, mostly in the winter months. Gray jays like to frequent friendly camps, coming closer each day to eventually feed from the hand.

It is def a Canadian Bird with endearing personality the world generally attributes to Canadians, trusting, friendly, gentle or non aggressive,able to endure and actually thrive in cold climate. It would guarantee this charming bird more exposure as warming conditions in some of its habitats were to threaten its survival there.

Whiskey Jacks evoke strong memories of camping with my parents, brothers and sisters in the 1950's and later in my life, having them swoop down to our picnic bench where I, my wife and children were eating breakfast.

These very social birds absolutely loved Canadian bacon!

Extremely intelligent, this species who spends all year in Canada makes it's family in the harshest of times, during the winter.

Found in every Canadian province and territory
The species is in decline and would benefit from heightened awareness.
It is friendly, unassuming and beautiful, like human Canadians!

My informed decision is to cast my vote for the Gray Jay. The Gray Jay has been my friend since camping in the 1950's as a single man. Then the Gray Jay became my second best friend after I selected a Wife. (or she, me).Then the Gray Jay became a family friend as nature took its course with our three children. Now, our eight grandchildren love to hold out seeds for the Gray Jay. All of this activity took place while enjoying Canada's great outdoors. The Gray Jay is a true Canadian Friend!

The Gray Jay is one of the few birds on the voting list whose range falls mostly within Canada. Furthermore, it is a friendly and gregarious species which occurs in the Canadian boreal forest. The boreal forest is a habitat that occurs mostly in Canada. The Gray Jay is representative of our amazing boreal forest and could help promote the protection of this fragile ecosystem as well as the boreal species that reside within it.

Being a true species of the north, as well as intelligent, resourceful and social. The Gray Jay is the perfect bird to represent Canada.

The only Jay I remember seeing as a Kid. Blue Jay is prettier, but while in winter excursions, my father putting bread on his children's heads and the Whiskeyjack(s) would flutter down and pick it right off. Ever present year round, a true Canadian Bird.

I think the Gray Jay should be Canada's bird, it's range is in every province and territory of Canada.
Not many birds can claim that!
The Gray Jay is fearless and is very friendly, landing on your hand to feed and even steal your lunch.

With a nickname "Whiskey Jack" derived from the Cree word Wesakachak it must love Canadian Whiskey!!

The other name for this jay which makes it perfect for Canada's bird
is Canada Jay.

Just the coolest, friendly bird - remember them from my first camping trip in Ontario many years ago.

The Gray Jay is such a social bird. Great entertainment when you are camping!!

Gray Jay, as other 2 choices above already have a designation.
The Jay is the perfect choice for our national bird.

As Canadian as they come. On a canoe trip many years ago at Old Woman Lake in Lake Superior Provincial Park we had a few Gray Jays hanging out at the camp. We had a lot of fun watching them and getting them used to our presence (and taking food stuff that was left out). The final test came when we left a piece of bread soaked in some of our "medicinal" rye on a log in camp. One of the birds enjoyed the libations so much that he ended up having a hard time hanging on to his branch without doing a balancing act not to hang upside down. Now, how Canadian is that!!

Great Bird

I'm voting for the Gray jay because it makes Canada its home most of the time.

Such an exceptional bird. It is sociable bird. It remains in Canada and is always a delight to see it. I truly think this bird should be our National Bird.

we don't need birds that are already recognized as provincial birds

Gray jay is my choice...the other main contenders are already birds of different provinces

beautiful bird

Perfect bird for canada. So sweet and friendly and can endure our cold winters. Seems somewhat ubiquitous around the country. I have fond memories of seeing this bird at the cottage in the winter as a child.

Yay whiskey jack!

It's found in EVERY province, it's super friendly, it has ties our First Nations history (that's where the name 'Whiskey Jack' came from!). Common loon and snowy owl already represent provinces, so they shouldn't double dip and represent our country too!!

I want a bird that is all or mostly reflective of Canada.

We have wonderful memories of Gray Jays out in Western Canada when we were
vacationing and the laughter they brought to us as they tried so hard to share
share our breakfast i.e. bacon.

It needs to be a species that isn't already a provincial species, a species with a good/positive reputation, a species that is widespread in Canada but not elsewhere, a species that is easily recognizable, a species that is hardy just like Canadians, and a little cheeky (just like Canadians!).

Oh Gray Jay, you little camp robber you; you fit the bill perfectly.

Best representation of the country.

The Gray Jay is a smart and resourceful bird. It lives communally, stores food for the winter. 1st year birds help their parents with the new brood. In summary, a resourceful and cooperative boreal bird, very Canadian!

What's more Canadian than a bird that sticks around and toughs out our various winters???

The Grey Jay is mainly native to Canada and stays there all year round. It is also found in most parts of Canada. Lastly, my father is Dr. David Bird and he is advocating for the Grey Jay to win!!

How could I not vote for Grey jay considering what my email address is and shouldn't it be "grey jay" not "gray jay"?

A Canadian resident from 1958 to 1980, I am a Canadian citizen (my three brothers and their families all live in Toronto). I write a column on Canadian postage stamps for Linn's Stamp News, a weekly philatelic newsmagazine published in Sidney, Ohio with a paid circulation of about 30,000:

Gray jays are friendly and love the cold. How's that for Canadian?

friendly, unassuming, stays all winter, found accross the country

Gray Jay is the best representative of our boreal country. This species is almost exclusive to Canada. despite not being found in more meridional cities and villages, it is an icon of the canadian wilderness

Well, my reasons might not be the most fitting, but don't we want a bird whose name represents our country? Perisoreus Canadensis is already pretty cool, but also, Mésangeai du Canada is a beautiful name.

It is omnivorous, something something diversity.

Also I heard it was smart.

I don't, in any way, dabble in ornithology, but after googling the matter for 5 minutes, I have come to a choice.

As someone from Quebec, I would normally choose the Snowy owl, but as Dr. Bird says, it is already the national bird of Quebec. Same thing goes for the Loon and Ontario.

I agree with him in choosing the Gray Jay, and after reading this little bit about it, I think it can represent what we Canadians are:

"The deceptively cute Gray Jay is one of the most intrepid birds in North America, living in northern forests year-round and rearing chicks in the dark of winter. Highly curious and always on the lookout for food, Gray Jays eat just about anything, from berries to small animals. They may even land on your hand to grab a raisin or peanut. During summer they hoard food in trees to sustain themselves through bleak winters."

It stays with us all year long. It is a smart bird.

I think that the gray jay should be our provincial bird because it is inhabited in cold climates and would stay here all year round.

it dos not fly south for the winter.

The first time I had ever seen a Grey Jay, I was working in Nakina "Northern Ontario " and the Whiskey Jack as it is also known had landed on a fellow coworkers hand.
The Jay had sat comfortably while we both admired this beautiful bird as he pecked at our sandwiches while perched.

As a retired Professional Forester, was able to observe the beloved whiskey jack on various timber cruises, fishing and canoe trips in the Boreal Forest. It was always fun to feed them and observe their antics.

Our first sighting after having lived in Bracebridge was on Nov. 10 2015. We were very excited as we had not encountered this lovely creature since having visited Algonquin Park many many years ago.

Always curious, friendly, resourceful and most importantly stays for the entire winter.

The Gray Jay is almost exclusively a Canadian bird (also found in Alaska & NW USA). This bird has graced my campsites, hiking and ski trails on many occasions and has taken food from my hand. I agree with others who say that it epitomizes Canadian characteristics such as being a friendly and quiet visitor and hardy in our northern climate.

Anyone who has watched the whimsical antics of a Whiskey Jack knows that this bird is not at all like the dull name of Grey Jay that has been attached to him. Canada Jay is another name he goes by but I prefer to call him a Whiskey Jack.If I am not mistaken that is an Anglicized version of his Algonquin name. As a child in Northern Ontario we would coax them to land on our hands. He was a frequent visitor at my father`s hunting camp looking for a handout and sometimes helping himself to unattended bits of food. For such a gregarious bird in the wild I find it odd that he doesn't like to frequent towns or cities. If he did I think more people would be charmed by him. As an added bonus he is a year round resident found throughout Canada.

These bold and daring birds never fail to bring a smile to my face as they swoop in to join your picnic. We once had one take a whole small steak off the table. It proved a bit too heavy for him to fly with so he had to drop it and had to share it with his friends.

Présent partout au Canada et n'est l'emblème d'aucune province!

It is a truly Canadian bird!

OnQ me l'a demandé.

Oiseau amical et vivant presque exclusivement au Canada, il est aussi présent à la grandeur du pays et bien adapté à notre climat.

It's cool and so is Canada so it should win.

The name should never have been changed from the Canada Jay

All the birds are great birds. I think the gray jay is the best.

First saw a grey jay in Algonquin Park & have always associated it with northern Ontario - one of my favourite places in Canada.

The Gray Jay is found across the country and doesn't migrate. It is indeed a "national" bird.

I vote for the Grey Jay as Canada's national bird. I have had many rewarding experiences with this friendly inquisitive bird on the trail and at the campsite. To me the Grey Jay embodies the essence of being Canadian friendly, welcoming, happy and always up for sharing a meal.

I fully second Robert Bateman's testimonial to this fine little bird, it is truly Canada's. I recall skiing in Algonquin Park and the Jays were following us and flitted in to grab a meal when we stopped to rest and opened our trail snacks.

Gray Jays are happy birds and friendly. They are fairlycommon throughout Canada. And not common anywhere else! Perhaps there name could return to "Canada Jay" if they become Canada's bird.

J'aimerais le mésangeai comme oiseau national. Vive l'unité de notre beau pays! Cet oiseau arbore beaucoup de bleu...

They are also called the Canada Jay. Only a few birds have that distinction and I feel that we should select that bird as our national bird

Gray Jay is distinctly a bird of Northern Canada. Very friendly to humans, loves to be fed by hand. Fond of nuts and blueberries! Not as noisy as Blue Jay!

The Gray Jay, or "Canadian Jay" (as it used to be known) is one of the friendliest birds around! And THAT is what being Canadian is all about.
Lots of love from Montreal

Best represents Canada and Canadians

Lives in Canada year round, can be found almost everywhere here, and will make off with your lunch if you're not careful.

What's not to love?

It is across Canada and used to be called the canadian jay until some bright person changed it.

Must have been an American who did it.
And is NOTba provincial bird. If is for Canada it should stsnd alone.

No essay, just a few facts that swayed my decision:
The Whiskey Jack is neither large nor small, but rather of a useful size to be (largely) neither predator nor prey, but interacts with both.
It is found in every province of this country, year round, not just a fair weather visitor.
Its colouring is understated but not dull, dignified but not sombre.
It has a friendly, trusting nature, but is not gullible. In my experience it even has a sense of humour, though I admit to being a romantic in this regard.
The Whiskey Jack in the wild gives the benefit of the doubt to (hu)man until given a reason not to trust, which is appreciated by those of us that wish a closer interaction with nature, to feel less like the feared predator that we have so often shown to the natural world around us. Many a camper or hiker has been befriended on the trail and had good company in an otherwise unfriendly surround.

Looking back over what I've written, can you not see a parallel between the Whisky Jack and the best ideals, both past and future, of the true Canadian?

The national bird should be a bird with a mainly Canadian range so it can be more easily identified with Canada. Also, the Canada goose should be avoided at all costs because, frankly, they're assholes.

Gray Jays are awesome, so they should be it. And they eat peanuts off your hand so it's the best!

The Gray Jay is so Canada. They are beautiful, friendly, love our wiinters and country.
We had exchange students from France. One of their most memorable experiences while visiting in northwestern Ontario was when a Gray Jay swooped down and shared breakfast with them in the boreal forest

Mostly in Canada is where they are found. They have a distinctive cry. Keep us company throughout the cod winters. They are survivors of the forest. My Dad loved them, fed them and talked to them. I would like this bird recognized in my Dad's memory since he spent a lot of time in the forests.

It's different and an unusual little guy !!! We have Cda. Geese / Loons on everything ... time to change it up.

The Gray Jay is found in all the provinces of Canada as well as the Northwest Territory.

The Gray Jay is Canada's bird. It stays in our country year round, lives in our cities and camps, is friendly, peaceable and does seem to enjoy our cold and snowy weather. He is one nice bird which emplifies who Canadians are and so should be Canada's bird.

Having encountered these animals in the dead of winter and watching them gracefully descend upon outstretched hands of my children feeding them, I decided to look into the species for more information for this project. After reading David M. Bird's article in Canadian Wildlife and doing some of my own research on the Grey Jay, I am now convinced this is the right bird for the job. Normally, I would pick something in the majestic and cool categories like a bird of prey however, I think the Grey Jay is just right!

The Whiskey Jack is one of the friendliest, intelligent birds living in Canada. We should honour the Whiskey Jack, and it's hardiness for staying in Canada year round, as Canada's National bird.

I read the article proposing the grey jay and as I can't say it any better, I am just voting.

I chose the Whiskey Jack because of all the birds I see during my many adventures in the great outdoors, the Whiskey Jack is one of my favorites. they are adorable creatures, full of energy and personality.

The Grey Jay is very Canadian in all it's different characteristics. I agree with all Dr. Bird said about this friendly bird.


Canada Jay/ Grey Jay/ whisky Jack
All Canadian friendly, trusting and sweet!

I saw a ad on TV for this and I like the idea that the this bird is found all across Canada. It is super pretty and delicate and would be different than Ontarios national bird the Loon.

I voted for the Gray Jay because it is a beautiful songbird that stays in Canada all year round. It is friendly and is only seen in Canada.

The Gray Jay is a very hardy, friendly bird and native to Canada. No other country has this bird so it would be unique for Canada.

Whiskeyjacks are found throughout Canada and are Canada's friendliest bird. Far more personable than the loon.

I like the gray jay. I think it best represents Canada and its people. We had a memorable encounter with them on Mt Washington. I took a picture of one landing on my wife's outstretched hand. Her expression will always remain in my memory.

Very cool birds that I have seen both here in Regina and up north at Besnard Lake, Sk. Smart, funny and fearless birds.

Spending my teen-aged years in the north of Manitoba in Flin Flon, I would be highly entertained by "Whiskey Jacks" while out in lake country and in the boreal forest.

While living in Ontario, I have had the pleasure on many occasions while out hiking in the woods to see Grey Jays and to have them eating out of hand and even had them risk entering through the car window, albeit hastily, to pursue peanuts.

It strikes me that the mischievous Grey Jay with its sense of humour is a superb choice for the National Bird of Canada.

The whiskey jack lives in the forest yet is very friendly.3BQDY

friendly, unassuming and they stay all year..found nationaly.

I've been convinced by the fact that this bird is non-migratory (stays here year round, just like us!) and is found in all provinces AND territories. Unlike other folks I do not enjoy sharing my trail mix with them (I'm hungry when I'm hiking!) but they are intelligent, hardy birds that most people in Canada will have connected with at one time or another.

Go jays - Loons are everywhere as it is!!

Every time I go into the Canadian wilderness around my home, I usually see one of these guys. They are bold in their friendliness, they like to share resources (...especially pretzels in exchange for their presence). They don't migrate because they are hardy enough to last the Canadian winter, especially amazing because they begin nesting as early as February which can be very cold and snowy! They have a sense of fun mischief about them - they are a prankster character in Algonquin mythology!! Plus, Whiskey Jack is a great name. I think this is the perfect bird to represent Canadian resourcefulness, amiability, sense of fun, and fortitude!

Le mesangeai, bien qu'étant de taille moyenne, est un oiseau résistant.
Il est prévoyant car il fait des réserves.
De plus on le retrouve partout au Canada où il vit à l'année.

Whiskey jack all the way.

Best. Bird. Ever.

Like many others, my choices came down to snowy owl, loon, and gray jay. I would be pleased to have any one of these birds as the national bird. Selected the gray jay as it was not already a provincial bird.

First in Last out!

The Gray Jay is a lovely little bird whose best attribute is that it is not a Canada Goose.

The Whiskey Jacks, as I have always known them, are fine birds. Very friendly, especially when you have some bread to offer. They radiate intelligence, are sociable, clean, athletic - much like we Canadians might like to envision ourselves.

My grandparents had a flock of them at Moat Lake, in the Forbidden Plateau, on Vancouver Island that were all named for the grandkids, and we loved feeding them every summer.

Loons are great, but already recognized as Ontario's provincial bird. Canada Geese are way to common...everywhere, and getting a bad reputation for interfering with aircraft, over-grazing farmland, polluting urban parklands, etc...

My vote is for the Whiskey Jack - If you have never met one you have missed a great experience!

Friendly, charming, cheerful, loves cold weather-very "Canadianish".

i will use the masculine just for simplicity

the gray jay has a place in aboriginal lore

he is not a provincial bird of any province

he remains in canada year around

he is friendly
but discreet
as are canadians !!

i have had 2 exciting sightings
in rather off beat places
one in the east in the woods of new brunswick
and one in the b.c. mountains

and i
found him truly appealing

Camping every summer as kids, it didn't matter where we went, inevitably a Whisky Jack would show up to check us out and see if we had anything worth stealing!!

I grew up outside the town of Kenora, in North Western Ontario. I loved watching these birds, so beautiful and graceful the way they move through the air. I have several times had the joy of seeing them land on my hand and being able to have an incredible close up look at these beautiful birds.
Currently, I live in Toronto since I moved here in 1991 and from that day to this, I have not seen a Whiskey Jack since. I would dearly love to see one again and take a picture with my new camera.
Almost 25 years since I have seen one ...... 25 YEARS !!!!!!
What is really unfortunate, I have never, not once, ever seen anything in the news, or news media, nature programs on tv ( for example, CBC's The Nature of Things with David Suzuki )that talks about the Whiskey Jack/Gray Jay/Canada Jay/camp robber jay as it is sometimes know.
If this bird successfully becomes the winner as Canada's national bird, then you should MOST DEFINITELY produce a television program about these birds, because I have never seen one, ever. I have seen many programs about other kinds of birds here in Canada, the Loon, Bald Eagles, Peregrine Falcon, etc. But NEVER, NOT ONCE, have I ever seen anything about the Whiskey Jack.
Please make one so I can learn more about these beautiful birds, my favorite bird .... and if you could somehow include my hometown Kenora in the program, that would be an added bonus !!!

Such a tame bird, and anyone who has spent time in the outdoors has a close-up Gray jay experience.

When I first arrived in Canada twenty years ago, the first bird I noticed specifically when exploring the beauty of the Rockies was the Jay. It was quick, friendly and unfamiliar to me coming from a country with an entirely different bird population. To me it epitomises Canada.

Sa présence est générale au Canada

Il n'est pas chassé il n'est pas menacé il ne cause pas de nuisance il est plutôt familier

Il n'a pas été choisi par une autre juridiction (provinces, territoires).

They are tough little birds who stay in Canada for the winter, and they are friendly just like a typical Canadian! I see them in the summer time at Strathcona Park near Mount Washington, BC every summer. They are friendly and fun to watch.

tres belles oiseaux

I love that it is truly a Canadian bird, friendly, seeks out cold climate.

I'm not actually sure that I have ever encountered a Gray Jay in the wild but after reading the arguments for this bird it is hard to refute the logic of electing it as our national bird. For example, it makes sense to elect something that is not already attributed to a province (such as the loon or the snowy owl) and it would be a shame to vote a bird in that is consistently hunted in the country that would potentially call it its national bird and that is also deemed a nuisance in other countries (Canada goose). Also, upon learning of the temperament and characteristics of this bird as well as its habitat that does not really branch outside of Canada all that much it is very hard for me to imagine electing any other bird as our national symbol. Of course we have to have the most loyal, hardy, and polite bird as our national symbol as it reflects us as a people - no matter what part of the country you are from. How could we as Canadians really elect anything else?


Grey jays are the best bird of Canada.

I am especially happy when a grey jay follows me in the woods, or joins me for lunch when I rest on a rock knoll. A lovely bird!

I've known Whiskey-jacks all my life. They're always there, even on the coldest days, willing to share - or steal - your sandwich. They're hardy and bold and I think that symbolizes Canada.

Not so well know, modest, reserved and not flamboyant. Very Canadian

I think the Whiskey Jack represents rugged Canada. I recall seeing them amongst snowy trees in Algonquin Park and lingering on the mountainside in northern British Columbia. These adventurous, intelligent birds are true Canadians!

Incredibly friendly, easy going and always up for sharing a cracker in even the most remote places in Canada. Usually found in the company of others.

Totally a perfect fit for our bird.

There are not many birds that live mostly in Canada, sea to sea and are not already a provincial bird. The Gray jay is one of the very few.

Although there are a lot of great suggestions of other species, Dr. David Bird's rationale about the Gray Jay really resonates with me. It is (almost) uniquely Canadian, and is a bird of the boreal forests. PS Although I am living in the US now, I grew up in Canada.

The Gray Jay gets my vote. Robert Bateman and David M Bird have written eloquently as to why.
I would simply offer the following: Imagine being a young camper, sitting at a campsite table with your arm held aloft, holding a piece of bread, when a gray jay lands on your hand, to partake of your offering. As a lover of birds, this is one of life's important experiences, never to be forgotten!

He's like us, fairly rare and a little shy. A bit boring from afar, but, up close, friendly and beautiful in a quiet way.

The Gray Jay is Canada wide and also bears Canada's name, is a friendly bird (like our Canadian reputation) and is found in our forests, wilderness, lakes and rivers. I have fond memories as a child camping and being visited by the camp robber trying to steal our food. Just love to photograph them!!!
Donna Nesjan

They are definitely a unique interesting & fun bird and I have only seen them in Canada & Wash., USA

The Grey Jay is also known as the Canada Jay in Northern Ontario.
Much like Canadians it is a friendly bird often appearing at campfires out of nowhere and cheeping cheerily as it mooches a bit of your lunch.
This bird has earned recognition as Canadas official bird

Many times when we would go fishing,hunting and gathering in the forest , this jay would always be around. sometimes my father would leave a little of our lunch on a rock, then we would hide and sure enough down he come, always ate the meat first, . Then he would eat the rest, always cleaned them self afterwards. that,s a meat jay my father would say, Canada jay,or whiskey jay, they like the drink he said, and then he laugh. A great bird....

It is the most friendly bird :-)

Having seen these beautiful birds my whole life, i can think of no better choice for National symbol.

The Gray Jay is the perfect bird to be Canada's national bird. It's good nature reflects Canadian demeanor. It's a pretty bird and its home range is mostly through out Canada.

It's really cute.

It makes sense that the national bird should live in Canada year round.

Truly nationally distributed bird. Not otherwise honored. The loon is on the loonie; the Canada goose is on the legacy silver dollars.

The Gray Jay is the perfect bird for Canada, it can be found in every province and territory right across Canada.

How's that for a Canadian Bird!

Others have said it all.

These beautiful and friendly birds are the first I thought of when I saw the search for a national bird for Canada. I have fed them from my hand in almost every province I have lived in. I have held a special fondness for these birds for many years. My father has a family of them that shows up every year to eat from his feeders and land on his hand many times in a day. They even peck on his window in the morning to say hello. These birds have so much personality and grace. I vote for the Whiskey Jack.

I believe that the Gray jay should be the official bird of Canada because it is a bird that is found in every province and in every territory, from coast to coast to coast.

Canada has been recently labeled as 'The North' and that we are one of the few countries that truly know how to endure a harsh winter. The Gray jay doesn't leave Canada like most other birds in the winter to fly south, but rather toughens up and lives through the whole thing.

That is why I believe the Gray jay should be Canada's national bird.

I think this bird is typical he will be a good representant of our Canada avian birds... I love this one and we can see himm in the winter too.

My vote is for the Gray Jay. The species lives in every province and territory in Canada, does not migrate in the winter, in my opinion a true Canadian! Also the Gray Jay is not endangered. I think it would also be cool to have a national bird with 'whiskey' in the name, as it is also known by the name Whiskey Jack. The Snowy Owl and Common Loon are already provincial birds.

This article is very informative if you're not sure which bird to vote for:

The Gray Jay is a friendly companion to find in the middle of a desolate forest... they bring us delight when they interact and take food from our hands and visit us year-round. Not only, this bird is found all over Canada, and it's friendly nature is what I would like to think of symbolically being like us Canadians - friendly. But the gray jay is just oh-so cute... like a little old bald man in a tuxedo.

Quel bel oiseau que le mésangeai!! Sans gêne avec les humains, il vient nous voir pour nous soustraire de la bouffe! La forêt boréal est son territoire, c'est le Canada!!

I love the gray jay becuase it has my name . It is very cute . And it has a butaful vouse

Ilove the gray jay because it is alsocall the Canada jay.H

I love the sound of the bird.It is also known as the canada jay!It is a very cute bird!

I chose the Whisky Jack because it has a good number and it has my name.

I believethe national bird should be one that is not a provincial bird. The Gray jay is across Canada, all year and has not been selected by any provinces.

Obvious choice

Gray Jay's are declining, and making it our National Bird would go a long way to draw attention to that fact, and get the country motivated to stop destroying it's habitat!!!! They are such friendly, beautiful birds. When I was a child, snowshoeing in the woods of Northern Ontario with my parents, we stopped for lunch and the Gray Jay's just flew in and perched so close to share our lunch with us! I was captivated! No fear!

The gray jay covers all of Canada and it is here all year around. It never leaves us for warmer climes.

The Gray Jay is the most Canadian of birds and I like its personality. It is the perfect avian symbol for our country!

This Grey Jay is a very unique bird which is almost specific to Canada and has not been named as "the bird" for any other location. The loon, although a wonderful example of the wild, has been used often and the Canada Goose has invaded many places worldwide and is now, unfortunately, often thought of as a pest. Let's go for the Grey Jay! And maybe we could even get the proper name back ~ the Canada Jay!?!

I think Robert Bateman & Dr. Bird make a compelling case for the Whisky Jack to be our national bird, and would support naming it the Canada Jay. I am originally from Toronto and have had the opportunity to visit most parts of Canada, a truly unique country. There are many fine essays, or testimonials on this website, and in particular I enjoyed Joel Couto's essay. I have enjoyed many lunches with the Whisky Jacks on Blackcomb mountain.
Who needs to be lobbied to encourage this choice before 2017?

The Gray Jay is a true Canadian: friendly, quiet, reserved, unobtrusive, a good parent, and accustomed to our winter.

understated elegance.

The Gray jay will represent us perfectly. It reflects the beautiful variations of the purest color white. White like the soft blanket of snow that covers all and shines in the sun.

The Gray Jay embodies the Canadian character perfectly with it's adaptibility to the cold and it's friendliness.

This is our bird. He represents the softness and beautiful colors of our winter and he shines beautiful with our strong winter sun that brightens Canada!

I heard someone speaking on cpac and he explain why the Gray Jay should be our National Bird and I had to agree with him.

I love the look and behaviour of the Gray Jay, formerly known as the Canada Jay. I have experienced the friendliness of the Jays as they sat above me in the trees and then flying down to land on my hand and eat.

Because he is in every province, and mostly only in Canada- a few have gone south of the border but not too many-- stop the bird brain drain and make him Canada Bird-- because by the way stays here all winter!! I think he represents us best!

I was on the fence for a long time, undecided between Common Loon and Gray Jay for my favorite Canada's national bird. There are many good reasons already provided for putting the Gray Jay ahead, and I won't repeat them. Even if it is less readily known by the (particularly urban) public at large, I believe it is a better choice than any of the other top contenders.

Je suis demeuré indécis pendant un bon moment sur mon choix de l'oiseau national du Canada, entre le Plongeon huard et le Mésangeai du Canada. Il y a déjà eu plusieurs bonnes raisons énumérées pour placer le mésangeai comme premier choix, et je ne les répéterai pas. Même s'il s'agit d'un oiseau moins connu du public (surtout en milieu urbain), je considère qu'il s'agit d'un meilleur choix que toutes les autres espèces présentement en tête de classement.

Aussi appelé «Le Mésangeai du Canada».
Pas un «snow bird»!
Pas un oiseau déja choisi par une Province (ou un autre pays)
Pas un oiseau de proie
Vit Principalement au Canada incluant les territoires
Sa plus belle qualité : Confiant envers le genre humain.

Making Canada such a beautiful country

I like that this bird is almost exclusive to Canada!

Great birds to watch; intelligent, focused and friendly.
This isn't going to get me on a Stephen Harper watch list is it?

The Canada Jay is a clever little rascal of a Corvid. It is adaptable and very polite in the way it asks for a handout, and always says thank you for any tax break it receives.

A marvelous bird, deserving of national recognition for just being everywhere and so friendly and polite.

The Grey Jay is uniquely Canadian in several ways. I find them to be quiet, curious, and friendly. We have been accompanied by a pair of grey jays on many walks in the woods of the foothills. Jays are also clever survivors in the sometimes harsh climate of the northern regions, ideal representatives for all Canadians.

The Whisky Jack is a friendly bird, humble and a bit cheeky.
Like Canadians.
A bird that exists in every Province and territory in the Country.

Once you get away from the city the gray jay is ubiquitous almost anywhere in Canada. It is friendly, sassy and clever. Unlike many of the other birds in the competition, its range is almost entirely within Canada which makes it's claim to be our national bird appropriate.

My experiences with the frontrunners are varied. As well as an excess of numbers in local parks and at my cabin in the Cariboo,I have seen Canada geese in London, England. (Messy and annoying foreign visitors!). Loons are widespread here on B.C.'s coast in the winter, and in the Cariboo in the summer.I love to hear their plaintive calls to their young. Snowy Owls are present in Boundary Bay in winter times. Chickadees are year-round visitors to my yard. The most special visitor, to my cabin, are the beautiful Whiskey Jacks (Gray Jays). Friendly, smart, and a pleasure to encounter.

The Gray jay reminds me of Canadians because it is so friendly.
With its fluffy breast feathers it looks really cute.
A great Canadian Ambassador.

it already has a portion of "canada" in its name..but its a tough bird that endures our winters and is native from here..They are smart and intelligent and are defintie contenders for our beautiful country.

has to be the Gray Jay. Truly a bird of Canada in every way'

I think the Gray Jay should be the national bird for many reasons: it's a year round resident, it starts breeding in the coldest part of winter and also it used to be called the Canada Jay. How much more Canadian can you get than that?

As much as I appreciate the Loon, I choose the Gray Jay to represent our country's national bird. No other province has claimed it for it's provincial bird and even though the Loon is on our Canadian Dollar, who says we can't have a fresh representative for CANADA in the intelligent and friendly GRAY JAY!

This vote is given to honour the life long Grey Jay work of Algonquin Park naturalist Dan Strickland

These are the most friendly birds who are not at all afraid of humans, they will come right up to you in the wild.

This Gray Jay is the obvious bird to represent Canada.

I concur with Robert Bateman and David bird - that the Whiskey Jay should be Canada's national bird. It sounds like an appropriate fit for us Canadians; happy in the rain and snow, friendly, approachable and clever.

I really liked watching them come round our campsite when I was younger they were so friendly.

I believe that the whiskey jack should become Canada's national bird because I love the idea that it used to carry Canada's name (the Canada Jay) for about 200 years. It's personality is perfect too: extremely friendly and can live in cold temperatures.

The gray jay or whisky jack has my vote for national bird.
From our experience it is a very friendly bird , not too shy and willing to take some risks.

I always think of these charming, mischievous critters as whisky jacks, which I first became acquainted with on a visit to Garibaldi Park, near Whistler, BC. We were very taken with how readily they would land in our hands to eat nuts and seeds and steal same if they were unguarded...

I've never forgotten our interactions with the Gray Jays at Taylor campground in Garibaldi Provincial Park. I like the notion of a very Canadian bird in the intelligent and interesting Corvid family. We don't get to see the Grays every day in the city as we do their crow relatives, but they live in our memory as clever and adaptable birds at the border of our lives, where the wilderness intersects with people.

David Bird's article in May-June issue of Canadian Wildlife was very convincing!

In all my 80 plus years in British Columbia there's been no bird that warms my heart as does the grey jay, or whiskey jack as we always called it. While hiking in the mountains or cross country skiing in wilderness areas the whiskey jack's appearance was always a welcome sight. Such a friendly little bird, and always on the lookout for a bite of one's lunch. Yet always polite. I can still picture one perched on my ski pole patiently waiting. Neither annoying nor raucous, nor flamboyant. What could be more Canadian than that?

The Grey Jay has a very sweet personality. Numerous times I have been out hiking in the mountains and have been approached by these little guys. They will approach to within arms length and seem to study you, possibly hoping for a crumb from a sandwich. I have lived in Manitoba as well as B.C. and the Grey Jay is quite common in the Riding Mountain area there as well.

This Bird is found only in Canada predominantly. It's smart, wise, curious, not endangered and stays in Canada year round. So I vote for the Gray Jay!

The more I read about this truly "Canadian" bird, the more I became convinced that this would be the most logical choice for our National bird.

I like the name.

Since it really is an all Canadian bird, I can't see any reason not to have it represent us. It is not a loud showy bird, but one that seems to epitomize the general picture a great deal of the world seems to have of Canadians.

I have to confess that I have never knowingly encountered a gray jay -- but after reading many of the other essays here, I really look forward to seeing one of these remarkable birds.

Corvids are undoubtedly the most interesting birds because of their intelligence and willingness to interact with humans. It's wonderful that Canada is blessed with its very own member of this genus.

Making the Gray Jay our national bird seems pre-ordained!

eloquently put by David Bird and Robert Bateman, as quoted by Shelley Fralic ... thankyou!

After a climb up Grouse and then Dam Mountain,I love to be greeted by the friendly Whiskey Jack. They are a true delight as they land on my hand to grab a treat; it doesn't hurt that they are also very cute.

I think the description and nature of this bird fits very well with the character of Canadians.

For me it was Canada Jay or Loon. You can't beat the loon's sound, but it's already the bird of Ontario. The jay is so Canadian and so "nice" that you can almost imagine it apologizing for being too friendly. My vote goes to the Canada Jay ( gray jay ).

"Camp Robber" is always a welcome wilderness visitor. I've shared many a bush meal with them. At a remote trapper's cabin in north-east BC they even entered through the open door to share supper at our table. One landed on my partner's shoulder. This brought to mind how this bird must have served as a tonic against cabin-fever for all our early trappers, explorers and First Nation single folk who found solace in our Canada Jay.

Let's drop the Grey Jay name and recognize the Canada Jay or Whisky Jack as the most appropriate choice.

Best all Canadian bird, in every province, year round...

Any bird that has the courage to stay in Canada from coast to coast year round has my vote.
A charming bird that has brought a smile to my face on the coldest days of skiing and shared a lunch on a milder day when I have the stamina to eat outside on a snowy slope.

Located in all of Canada, the Gray Jay is a quiet dignified bird that represents and reflects Canada as confident and trusting country.

I believe the Gray Jay is more common to ALL provinces which should be a top priority in the voting.

Fond memories feeding whisky jacks by hand , suck a happy friendly trusting bird .

Resilient, ingenious, and year-round. A true Canadian!

Il est partout au Canada et passe l'hiver ici. Il y en a surtout au Canada et un peu au USA. Il n'est pas l'emblème d'aucune province. Il est beau et se laisse regarder. C'est un fier habitant de nos forêts.

I love the little Whiskey Jack. It is so friendly but also tough. It breeds in the winter and stays here all year long what could show its devotion to the country so well.

I had originally voted for the Canada goose, but after reading David Bird's impassioned defence of the Gray Jay, I decided that the Gray Jay was the ultimate Canadian bird.

Friendly, outgoing stay here all year.make friends and stay loyal to campsites

The Gray jay is in every province in Canada and like Canadians are very friendly.

Anyone who has spent time outdoors in Canada has had a good experience with this bird. Smart as all get out and friendly too!

Shared our lunch with a pair of "Whiskey Jacks" along the Rogers Pass, BC...great companionship and they were thankful of our sharing our food and their space.

All of our birds are beautiful and we need to do everything possible to protect them. We are offered free concerts every day if we just stop a listen to the wilderness music. The Gray Jay...Canada Jay...Whiskey matter what his a friendly, hardy and spirited little bird and would represent Canada honorably.

Read some of the other essays - convinced me.
This is the most Canadian of the birds for the reasons others have more eloquently shared.

We should choose a bird that is not already representing a province or territory. The Gray Jay is just the bird we need

J'affectionne particulièrement le Mésangeai du Canada qui ressemble à une version agrandie du Mésange à tête noire, l'oiseau officiel de ma province, le Nouveau-Brunswick. J'éprouve beaucoup de plaisir juste à l'appercevoir durant mes randonnées. Je ne sais pas pourquoi il a cette influence sur moi.C'est à la fois mystérieux et bénifique. Je suis certaine qu'il sera aimé des Canadiens et que nous en seront fiers de l'avoir comme oiseau national.Il a longtemps porté le nom de geai du Canada. Pourquoi ne pas lui redonner son titre original?

oon le rencontre souvent en ski de fond et il est tres convivial, tres peu farouche avec un chant agréable.

The Gray Jay (Whiskey Jack) is the most sociable of the proposed bird candidates. Whether in northern Manitoba in the early 1960's when we lived in tent camps year round as part of the process of exploring for mineral deposits or recently just out for a walk in south central British Columbia, the Gray Jay often comes along for company -- expecting a handout in appreciation of course.

I am not submitting an essay, but I vote for the Grey Jay.

The Canada Jay. Enough said.

This bird was highly recommended by Renee at 1st Unitarian Church of Canada. She's a very respected botanist and ornithologist at our Church.

Grey Jays have been good company for me when I used to spend time working on an island on the North Shore of Quebec. They would quietly appear , peek at my lunch and keep me company before they were gone just as they came. Now that I live in Cape Breton, I see them from time to time when I'm hiking in the highlands. Is it they that see me and show themselves or is it I who see them, when I am in tune with my surroundings ? Either way, it makes my day !

This bird is found in every province and territory

As a newly minted Canadian my first response was to vote for the Loon but reading up about the alternatives it is the Gray Jay that seems the most Canadian (although unfortunate about the US spelling of gray ;)).

Un oiseau ultra-canadien par plusieurs aspects

I was impressed with David M. Bird's article in the CWF mag of May/June and would certainly want the "Grey Jay" as our National Bird.

This gentle intelligent bird lives in Canada year round. It is most characteristically like Canadians. It can be found in all provinces and territories of Canada. The Gray Jay was once called Canada Jay. I also learned that First Nations have folklore honoring this bird. I am eager to read more.

I am voting for the Gray Jay because it is a majestic creature.

The Gray Jay is not only a friendly and beautiful bird, it also represents the hardiness and strength of Canadians. They make their homes in the Boreal Forest and mountain ranges in the West. Unlike other birds, Gray Jays do not fly south for the harsh winter, but instead remain loyal to their home and brave the frigid season. They even raise their young in this cold and dark time. They are found almost everywhere in Canada and would serve as a great symbol for the bravery and hardiness of Canada's people and founders.

The Gray Jay, otherwise known as the Whiskey Jack, is a majestic creature. I chose the Gray Jay because my other two top contenders for the national bird, the Snowy Owl and the Blue Jay, are already the provincial birds of Quebec and Prince Edward Island. The Gray Jay is also the embodiment of what Canadians are. We are wild, yet gentle, and very cute. While most birds would not, the Gray Jay would nest in your hand for food. They also have a beautiful call, which sounds like, "VUT, VUT, VUT, VUT, VUT, VUT!!!!!" It is very relaxing to listen to these birds.

L'article paru dans BIOSPHÈRE de Mai et Juin 2015 m'a convaincue de voter pour le mésangeai du Canada. J'ai déjà nourri cet oiseau dans mes mains, dans les bois près de chez-nous. Laissons le plongeon huard à l'Ontario et le harfang de neiges au Québec, mais pour tout notre pays, j'espère que la majorité du monde va voter pour le mésangeai du Canada.

Rita Sirois

I like the fact that it resides in Canada year-round and I am able to feed it from my hand. And that is cool to show my grandchildren.

The Gray Jay is a beautiful bird. It is very friendly and not common in other countries.

I chose the Gray Jay because of its Canadian range and because it is not already a Provincial bird.

Loons and Canada geese are Canadian icons and will always remain on my list of favourite birds but alas - like many bird species-they abandon us in the winter. Gray Jays are tough birds that brave our Canadian winters, protect their local territory and their young with great determination but around my feeder they quietly take turns instead of squabbling over the spoils. Determination, sharing and loyalty are old fashioned Canadian values, at least for me, so Gray Jays are definitely my choice as our National Bird.
Carl Hunt (retired F&W biologist)

No matter which province I have visited, there has been a Whiskey Jack in the forest.
Industrious, busy bird. Full of natural curiosity and ready to be friendly if treated kindly and with respect. A curious Canadian.

The Canada Jay is a true Canadian - tough to survive the long cold Canadian winters, has a sense of humour and loves to pay jokes on unsuspecting campers, it's friendly and is beautiful.

I love the planning of this bird to survive the winter by hiding food all
summer and fall. Also how clever to build the nest with a Southern exposure.
His faithfulness to her by feeding her while she never leaves the nest. Their
determination to make it through the coldest of winters is surely a Canadian
Their friendliness at camp sites also typical of and representative of
the Canadian way of life.

The Gray Jay (Perisoreous canadensis) is the quintessential Canadian bird. With a reference to Canada directly in its Latin name, it represents the beauty that is our country. This is a species that, like many Canadians, endures the hardship of winter with determination and class. Breeding in an open-cup nest while snow is still on the ground, and feeding their dependent young with food that they have diligently and carefully cached throughout their territory, the Gray Jay is a remarkable creature. Like many Canadians, they thrive in a harsh climate: facing bitterly cold winters and mosquito-ridden summers. I was fortunate enough to spend some time with long-term Gray Jay researcher, Dan Strickland, and Associate Professor of Integrative Biology, Dr. Ryan Norris (University of Guelph), in Algonquin Park during the winter of 2014. We would snowshoe deep into the territories of these birds on cold and crisp winter mornings. With no birds in sight, Mr. Strickland and Dr. Norris would make squeaking noises to call them in. Within minutes, these birds would gracefully float into view. Making endearing, gentle noises and hoping for treats that they could eat or cache, I was amazed by their beauty, and their quiet, seemingly peaceful, demeanor. I was instantly smitten. Known as “Camp Robbers” and “Whiskey Jacks”, the Gray Jay readily endears itself to those who enjoy the Canadian wilderness. Visiting campsites, accompanying hikers, and forging relationships with trappers out on the lab, they appear friendly and social, and almost like they seek out the company of people. I can’t think of a more fitting species to be Canada’s national bird.

vote for the whiskey jack @ featherdface the whiskey jack is commonly mistaken for a chickadee but its nickname is a camp robber

I believe Canada's national bird should be one that stays in Canada all year round just like we Canadians except for the Snow Birds (Elderly Canadians who can afford to spend half the year in the states or other warmer climes).

The red winged black bird can be seen throughout canada and has a very distinctive song. I would have voted for the loon, but the loon can only be seen in northern canada.

Not as majestic as other birds but its winter range is throughout most of Canada
not like other choices that only summer here. Also almost everyone in Canada
has seen one and can recognize it's call.Very resilient individuals that visit
you all year around surviving our hot summers and cold winters.

Only bird that associated with people.

I have met the whiskey jack on many occasions up in the mountains, and they are invariably friendly, amusing, cheeky and gregarious. I have always loved these impertinent little moochers! If you haven't encountered them yet, make an effort to get out to a mountain park like E.C. Manning and see what you've been missing!

Cool looking Canadian Bird.

Wonderful bird, intelligent and fearless, a year round resident.

Whiskey jacks always lives in the forest. And yet they are not a bit shy and will approach any human who comes to visit their forest. They like camp cooking. Their natural habitat perfectly coincides with the borders of Canada (plus Alaska).

Grey Jay all the way!!

Bateman & Bird said all that need be said. Definitely "The" Canadian bird.

my friends and I often take long xc ski trips up johannsen's peak in Trembant QC. most of the time there will be a Gray Jay waiting to welcome us to the summit. it is these long and snowy days trudging up the mountain that allow us to truly enjoy our beautiful Canadian winters.

I agree with everything David Bird said, and would further like to point out the gray jay CAN be quite accessible to the public, for anyone who likes to takes jaunts up mountains, they are super friendly and on many cross country trails you just have to stick your hand in the air and a gray jay will hop on (although they prefer it when you have food!)

Because it is the coolest bird

This should be our national bird

The Whiskey Jack, is unassuming, brave & friendly. A perfect representation of Canadians!

He is a bird that soars quietly in the forest, looking over the rest of its inhabitants, very typical of Canadians.

No Canadian camper leaves a Gray Jay experience quite the same. I think they symbolize our social nature around food ;)

The Gray jay is the quintessential Canadian choice. No contest!

The Gray jay is clever, cheeky, animated and social with a touch of whimsy. It is in every province and territory... thus ubiquitous Canadian.To anthropomorphise, it has a cheery disposition and the alternative name of 'whiskey jack' is also rather charming. Personally, to my mind, the whiskey jack has more panache. Like Canadians, social, fun, not too flashy. Vulnerable to habitat loss and forest fragmentation due to logging, the jay could also use some support in its corner. The loon will likely win by the looks of it; that would be unfortunate. Not that it's not a worthy bird...but it is characterized by a more sedate, quiet, solitary and introspective quality. The loon is over familiar from our unfortunately named 'loonie' and it already has the honour of being the provincial bird of Ontario. That seems redundant.

I liked the idea that this bird is exclusively Canadian. The bird is brought to notice which most of the other birds already have. I heard Dr David Bird and his argument swayed me.

An Intelligent Bird well suited to their environment and a joy to watch !!

The Gray Jay is one of the most entertaining birds and can be some real good company to anyone around the area where they live. I have a cabin out in the bush and I sure enjoy the visits from the local Gray Jays, they arrive just as i get out of my vehicle knowing full well i have food for them, , the older ones come pitch in my hand waiting for their treat. There are times when i'm there alone and every time I go outside a couple of them will follow me around even if i go for a walk even if it means leaving food still back on the bench where i feed them. Having kids or people not used to being around the jays are always entertaining especially when they try and rob the food from their hands or plates and the smiles from little kids having a bird actually pitch in there hands is totally awesome. I think the Gray Jay should definitely be our National Bird, its one all people can get close to and see with out any great hardship and very friendly and photogenic.

What I like about this contest is becoming more aware of the vast numbers of birds in this country. And I like the idea of a national bird.

I love that this bird is found almost exclusively in Canada (such that it was previously called the Canada Jay!) and feel that it's understated looks and friendly disposition capture Canadian culture perfectly.

Awesome bird. Hilarious, stubborn, adorable, curious, and friendly. Just like Canada!

My friendly little winter friend who comes to my feeder and is not scared when I refill it!

The Gray Jay is the most logical choice as being a year round resident in all provinces of Canada, very common and widely recognized by most Canadians. It is also the "Unofficial" Bird of Labrador!

As a Gray Jay researcher, I think that this is an excellent choice for Canada's National Bird.

Distinctive to Canada - even the name.

the Whiskey Jack is a true Canadian who lives here year around raises it's young in the winter& will always greet you at your bonfire .

The Canada Jay aka Gray Jay is a friendly bird that is located all across Canada. It does not migrate south like most other birds. I think it is a bit understated so would be perfect as our national bird.

The Grey Jay is the same colour as we Canadians after a long winter!

The Gray Jay is found in all provinces and territories of Canada, though only in one corner of Nunavut. It is a permanent resident here, and much less common elsewhere. It saves food all year round, which appeals to my Scottish ancestry! I love the way it glides silently through the woods, and will come right to you, sharing its company for a bit of food.

My name is James Colby, I'm a proud Saskatchewan boy. I went to BC once, it was ok. Anyways, I'm voting for the Whiskey Jack, just my TWO CENTS heh heh heh

The Gray Jay is known to live throughout Canada (and not many other places... except parts of Alaska and the upper northwest USA). It is also known as a clever bird (member of the corvid family) that is both friendly and canny enough to beg for food from those of us who love to ski. A beautiful and yet understated creature, this lovely animal deserves careful consideration as Canada's national bird.

I would like to see the Gray Jay be our national bird as my experience with it has been very positive. While picnicking in Algonquin Park, a Gray Jay decided to land on my head and then proceeded to land on my hand for a "hand out". While hiking in the Park, another one was coaxed to land on our outstretched hands for some tidbit we found in our backpack. When we were in NFLD in Gross Morin Park, a Gray Jay was coaxed to land on my hand much to the amusement of several foreign tourists who tried to no avail to do the same. I think it would be an ideal national bird as it is wild but still bold enough to interact with humans and is a beautiful bird to watch as it flits from tree to tree.

Although I've always lived in the south, the Canada of my heart has always been the North. The tiny fraction of my time I've been privileged to spend in the great evergreen forests have been among the most influential and memorable of my life. The Gray Jay is THE bird of the Canadian boreal forest, year round and almost nowhere else. It epitomizes the Canadian wilderness. What better bird?

One of the first times I went out hunting (after moving from downtown Toronto to rural north-western New Brunswick), I encountered a Gray jay (known locally as a "Gorby"). I had just stepped into a clearing, and saw it flitting from tree to tree. Being inexperienced as a hunter, and not immediately recognising the bird, I raised my .22 rifle towards the bird, which flitted and fluttered towards me, landed on the barrel of the rifle, and started scolding me loudly for threatening it! That was about 45 years ago, and the Gray jay has been my favourite bird since that moment.
Kind regards,

R. Dwight Brewster

Very social jay, loves to partake in your lunch at a picnic table. Great company while resting along the Rogers Pass BC. Really enjoyed my picnic lunch, bits of sandwich & crackers.

A fine bird.

I grey up in the mountains of interior BC and this bird was always around. They are a comical bird. I just love them.

Nice bird who do not make a lot of bad noise.

Il vit dans les régions comme peut pas être juste une place.

The only choice!

I grew up in New Brunswick and love the Gray Jay. It's warm, friendly and outgoing demeanor make it the perfect bird to represent Canada.

I believe a friendly and curious bird should represents us Canadians.


One reason I think the Gray Jay should be Canada's National bird is because of it's intelligence . It protects itself through the winter by taking food & hiding it in trees. Another reason the Gray Jay should be Canada's National bird is because it is nice to nature, clever and can fly from tree to tree. The final reason why I think the Gray Jay should Canada's National Bird is because they are useful creatures , just like the Canadian people. These birds are also loyal, as they never leave their land in even the cold of winter. These are the reasons why I think the the Gray Jay should be Canada's National bird.

Bel oiseau, peu farouche, curieux, que l'on peut rencontrer d'un océan à l'autre.

It's no secret that the Whiskey Jack is one of the most loved birds in Canada. Well, at least in Alberta. They are one of the highlights when we go hiking and camping... they are friendly, they come right up to you, they eat from your palm, they land on your head to say hello. No other bird is so daring yet lovable. It's like they're the spirit bird of all Canadians, happily living alongside us as we trek to the great outdoors; the true North strong and free. They are swift and nimble, and not big in size- but hold a presence of their own. A presence of humility and contentment.

This bird used to be named the Canada Jay, it is almost exclusively found in Canada represented in all 13 provinces, it doesn't migrate to the south during winter, instead it has adapted itself to live in the harsh Canadian winter. Also it's considered to be a very smart and friendly bird, known to feed out of people's hands. It is clear to me that the Gray jay would be a great choice to represent Canada and its people.

Our emblem should be a bird more specifically canadian, who also represents the beauty and wildness of our great country

A very smart bird, that is resourceful and very hardy.

Very friendly bird and lives in all parts of Canada.

I have volunteered with the research in Algonquin Park revolving around these birds and because of their intelligence and fearlessness of humans I feel they would be well representing Canada as our bird.

Whiskey Jack, Canada Jay - you got my vote!!!

Friendliness is a great Canadian quality, one we should always be proud of! I believe a national bird that embodies/reminds us of that is a wonderful idea.


Les textes nous incitant à voter m'ont convaincue que le mésangeai serait un excellent choix à tous point de vue. C'est un oiseau présent sur tout le territoire, il gagne à être connu, il représente bien tous les Canadiens.

Whiskey jack come fly to me!
Spread your wings and set me free
Free from the burdens of society!

A little song inspired by a whiskey jack that visited us on a special wintery trek one year that became a memory our group of friends will never forget!
Truly Canadian!

My first reaction was to choose the common loon. But after referencing the provincial and territorial list of birds, I see that Ontario has already honored the loon. I think Canada's national bird choice shouldn't be repeated from the list of provincial and territorial birds. Therefore, the Whisky Jack is my choice. It's a well known, well liked, friendly and opportunistic bird; much like Canadians.

The Gray Jay needs to be restored to its "Canada Jay" status! It is our all Canadian bird.

The only bird in all the regions of Canada

Sweet and friendly - truly Canadian!

This bird is also commonly known as the "Canada Jay". I think that it represents so much of Canada -- cheeky, cute, not very showy but subdued in colour, and omnipresent. Also, it is less hated in other countries because it doesn't leave a lot of bird manure all over parks and other green spaces, as the Canada Goose does.

I don't really have an essay; more reasons. Birds like the Loon, Chickadee, and Snowy Owl are already provincial birds; the Whiskey Jack is unclaimed. It is a snappy, attractive bird that lives just about everywhere in Canada and does not leave in the winter. It is a true Canadian!

I like that the Whiskey Jack is represented in all territories and provinces of our country. I also like that they are visible to people; they are not elusive.
I have seen many Whiskey Jacks, but don't recall ever seeing a Snowy Owl.

I love and respect all birds, but the Gray jay seems to embody how we Canadians like to think of ourselves: unique, friendly, not raptors but rather a welcome presence anywhere.

Everyone who has met one remembers where. My encounter was Algonquin Park...both bird & Park are Canadian icons.

Since this bird is found all across Canada and the territories it is ideal. Also since it was known as the Canada Jay -whose idea was it to change the name. Who ever he was he was not very Canadian.

For all the reasons David M Bird gave, I agree, and vote for this bird!

Canada's best possible representative bird, GrayJay, is found in all the provinces and territories of Canada and only a few areas of the U.S.
If only the powers that be would change it's name back to "Canada Jay" - a deserving name for a deserving bird.

The Gray Jay is representative of Canada and Canadians. Reading David Bird's essay convinced me that the Gray Jay is the obvious choice for Canada's national bird.

A bird who loves Canada...stays here year round!W2

As a geologist I have enjoyed the friendly whiskey jack across our beautiful nation. It is curious, intelligent, social and it stays in our country during the coldest months of the year.

Impressionnant et demeure Canada toute l'année

Canada is a boreal country. The great northern forest stretches across our great land mass from sea to sea to sea. Wherever one ventures into the forest, a Canada jay will soon find them. No other bird so trusting and welcoming of human visitors into the Canadian wilderness. When most birds head south or seaward for the winter, including our wonderful voice of the north, the common loon, the gray jay stays to tough it out with (or without) us. Always there, always Canadian.

The Gray Jay is the most interactive bird that most Canadians have likely encountered. It's in every province and territory, in urban and rural, and is relatively common and can be seen at feeders and local parks, and likes camping with us!

The gray jay is in the Corvid family, the smartest birds in North America, so worthy of Canada's bird. It's a dapper and tough bird that is a survivor. It is common across Canada which is important, although boreal forest only. Gray jay don't fly south when it gets cold and aren't those traitorous Canada snow birds. Loves winter and you can see and hear it enjoying the day when out skiing or hiking everywhere. Here for all other seasons so perseveres and is loyal.

Subtle and elegant colouring. Doesn't make loud statements but chirps away in the background just like a Canadian. Opportunist and playful as comes out when any food is made available.

Other birds (common loon and snowy owl) are beautiful birds but are provincial birds for ON and QU which wouldn't sit well for the rest of Canada! We want to unite Canada and not divide.

I liked Dr. David Bird's remarks about the "whiskey jack" in the Globe and Mail (Jan. 23, 2015) - a smart, friendly, hardy, non-endangered, non-migratory bird who dwells in all Canadian provinces and territories.

1. Their hardiness and friendly demeanor - even in -40 they're alert and active and doing their thing.
2. Their pan-Canadian distribution (but not a lot outside of Canada) - we can all appreciate them as part of our Canadian experience.
3. Their multiple subspecies and populations across the country, which also reflects the diversity of Canadians.
4. They're gray. Like our opinions and attitudes on everything.
5. Also their name starts with 'whiskey.'

I'd go for raven for the same reasons, but they're circumpolar, and pretty much every culture in their range already has a special place for them in myths, folklore, religion, traditions, and culture. It seems vaguely inappropriate to name what some cultures consider a god as your national mascot.

The Gray Jay should be Canadians choice for Canada's National Bird because it lives in All Parts of Canada and is intelligent,handsome and friendly ready to join you for breakfast at home or at your Campsite.You bring the Bacon,Harvest Crunch,and the Peanut Butter...😄
While we have several hundreds of great birds in Canada;only the (Gray Jay/Whiskey Jack) lives here... Coast to Coast to Coast...but vary rarely in the USA (look up Google Images of this little Beauty and see its territories)
Dr.David Bird (Professor of Wildlife Biology at McGill University) also agrees it should be the Gray Jay...
Thanks Joe

I feel with its range and year round residency the Gray Jay a good choice.

The Gray Jay, formerly Canada Jay, is truly a Canadian bird. It lives almost everywhere in Canada all year round. It doesn't fly away to raise it's young nor to avoid harsh winters. It is also known as a Whiskey Jack (Wiskedjak), taken from Aboriginal languages, which means a rascal who likes to play tricks on people like swooping in and escaping with a morsel of any scrap of food. It is also known as a 'Smoke Jay'. Start a campfire in the Canadian wilderness and it will seemingly appear from nowhere. The Gray Jay is a trusting bird that will land on your hand to accept whatever treat you are offering. What more could you ask from a Canadian Bird?

Friendly, but not flashy, thriving in the high alpine, definitely my favourite.

The description of the gray jay is basically a definition of a Canadian.

Gray jays are great and deserve to be Canada's bird. They were once called Canada Jays and have a symbolic meaning. When the loggers got here they called them Whiskeyjacks.

Like a true Canadian, the Grey Jay is adaptable, smart and friendly.

I like either the grey jay or the loon, none of the others stand out as a symbol of Canada and it's citizens. Please don't let it be the Canadian goose! They are a pooping nuisance!

The Gray Jay is represented in a large area of Canada. It is a great example of a winter and summer bird with a blending camouflage.

Truly Canadian

They are smart, unassuming, friendly, social birds who are only found here and endure winter with style and grace!

This is a truly Canadian bird...does not fly to warmer climate in winter!

On peut facilement observer le mésangeai d'est en ouest et toute l'année. Il porte définitivement bien son nom 'mésangeai du Canada'. Un oiseau peu farouche, frondeur qui se perche sur votre tuque, au bout de votre bâton de ski, sur votre bras (photos à l'appui) pour vous enlever toute nourriture avant que vous puissiez l'avaler. Il nous a bien fait rire lors de nos randonnées de ski de fond. Je crois qu'il est l'oiseau tout désigné comme emblème national.

The Gray Jay has not been selected as a provincial bird. It also doesn't migrate for the winter (like Canadians), and it is a very friendly bird which can be found all across Canada.

The Grey Jay should be a no-brainer! Two of the leading vote-getters, the Common loon and the Snowy Owl, are holarctic species - found right across northern Europe and Asia as well as Canada. In my opinion that should disqualify them. The Canada Jay is endemic to northern N America, most of which happens to be Canada.

I have heard opinions that many members of the public can’t relate to the jay, mostly because they are not familiar with it. Those who cannot relate to it after having been introduced should not be allowed any say in the matter.

As for name of the bird: 'Whiskey Jack' carries the most moxie but I doubt that such a staid group as the AOU would ever allow such a handle. Our best hope is for re-establishment of ‘Canada Jay’ - but don’t count on it.

Carlo Giovanella, Surrey BC
Bird Enthusiast of 43 years, Canadian of 76 years

Gray Jay/Canada Jay/Whiskey Jack because . . .

The national bird should occur across the country.
The national bird should not leave the country when it gets cold, eh? (sorry loon)
The national bird should not also be common much of anywhere else. (sorry ruffed grouse)
The national bird should not also have the nickname "fool hen". (sorry spruce grouse)
The national bird should be a survivor, with a plucky spirit, a keen mind, and an endearing sense of humor. It's Whiskey Jack, hands-down.

C'est un oiseau qu'on retrouve à la grandeur du Canada à longueur d'année et non seulement durant certaines saisons.

Canada - Jay ....the new Gray.

Lives in in all provinces and territories
As a member of the corvid family (crows,ravens,jays), it is one of the smartest birds on the planet

Accessible,inquisitive and tame for educational aspects.It is extremely friendly toward humans, like most Canadians.

It’s hardy, having adapted well to very cold regions, and it stays in Canada all year.
Well known in First Nations folklore — and to early explorers and present day adventurers.Symbolic of the majesty of wilderness and out of doors hardihood (Can nest in snowy weather.)

I have worked closely with these birds and can't think of a more charismatic animal. Their populations are declining due to climate change, and I see making Gray Jays Canada's national bird as an excellent way to generate awareness of this issue.

Gray Jay IS Canada's bird.

Dr. David Bird, as another Guelph Alumnus, can't be wrong.

I was disappointed not to see a breed of Finch in the list. But this bird is my next favourite for representing Canada.

Dr. David Bird presented a convincing argument in favour of the Gray Jay.

Growing up out in western Canada we always referred to it as the Canada Jay

Simply put, the Grey Jay (or Whiskey Jack) more accurately embodies Canada. We don't draw attention to ourselves, we are clever, we are friendly, and we kick butt.

There is no bird who is as friendly and welcoming in the canadian forests as the whiskey jack. A friend to hikers, fishermen, hunters,prospectors, surveyors, trappers. It has good manners, welcoming attitude, helps clean up your campsite,takes a genuine interest in those coming to their territory. I think this bird reflects all the positive attributes of canadians

Wide distribution in Canada, gentle, friendly and lives here
all year that's a winning bird.

I was also torn between the Gray Jay, the Loon and the Snowy Owl but because the Gray Jay is throughout Canada for the whole year decided that the Gray Jay gets my vote.

The Gray jay was a highlight of a trip of mine in western Canada in the mid-eighties. They are my choice for Canada's National Bird.

Our neighbour and good family friend, Dan Strickland (former Algonquin park naturalist) has spent many, many hours studying the Gray jay and we would like to see it become our bird! He has file cabinets in his basement filled with data.....would love to see this bird chosen! Thank you!!

Having lived in Temagami for 10 years, this wonderful bird was a common site. They are very curious and trusting. They come quickly when offered a food source. They are soft in colour. I love the idea that this bird is a true "Canadian" in its toughness withstanding our harsh winters. The Gray Jay would be a great candidate and wins my vote hands down.

Exclusive to Canada, found in all 13 provinces, friendly and always sings a great tune. Need I say more?

I vote for the Gray Jay (Perisoreus canadensis), also Canada jay or whiskey jack This picture of my grandson Jules, feeding one on top of Mont-Mégantic

never see these birds "on land" here, but 41.5 km away (Parc national du Mont-Mégantic) at observatory ...... at 1105m high, they await...

The Gray Jay is found in all provinces, likes winter and is trusting. So Canadian!

It is a well known bird across Canada, in every province. When I think of Canada, the Gray Jay stands out like the Great One.

A bird living across our country, every province. So truly represents the broad boreal forest, the region associated with our country by people worldwide.

I see them in Algonquin Park regularly and have seen them near Rainy River and near Fort Severn. I like them because they are bold and happy to take food from friendly birders. I also like that they do not fly south for the winter and that they raise their young in the dead of it with food they have stored during the warmer months. Like many Canadians, they are not dressed up in fancy colours, but very serviceable grey and white.

David Bird gave a compelling essay. No need to say more...

Gray Jay All the Way!

A welcome visitor to mountain trails and campsites, I believe that Gray Jay (Whiskey Jack) would make the best avian respresentative for Canada. Dr. Bird's essay says it all

Presents admirable qualities any Canadian identify with.

I just like this bird and have enjoyed the company of this bird in our national parks, a friendly creature.

All the great reasons for selecting the Gray (Canada) Jay are featured in the many essays already featured- its the right choice for Canada.

As this bird is common across Canada and is a friendly representative for Canada , I believe it should be our national bird.

I really enjoy watching grey jays. They are smart, beautiful and amazing bird.

My vote goes for the Gray Jay, a true Canadian Bird!

The gray Jay has conquered all 13 provinces an territories,a great feat for any bird,Canada is the 2nd biggest It isn't endangered or to any one a pest. It not a provincial or territorial bird like the loon, raven, snowy owl, blue jay, chickadee, osprey or the great grey owl. This bird stays in Canada year round so it is truly Canadian Only slightly in the states [its range continues into the rocky Mountains] this bird isn't a show off reflecting its helpful country. This bird used to be called the Canada jay too. I find the jay to be a friendly looking bird too. Would you rather a Gray jay greet you if you moved to Canada or some less friendly bird honking at you? The gray jay reflects the friendly country Canada is.

The Gray Jay appears ALL ACROSS CANADA (except for a small area in Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. It is NOT a snowbird that unpatriotically disappears South to the US during Winter, like many other birds and Humans. No it stays here and enjoys our Canadian winter!
The Gray Jay's voice is relatively soft - A Canadian trait, unlike its noisy and aggressive cousin the Blue Jay, which unfortunately has these American (and Toronto) undesirable qualities.
I could speak here disparagingly about the loon and its unfortuate name - anyhow it is Ontario's bird - So I will say no more about it.
The Harfang? (The Snowy Owl) A noble and stoic bird indeed, but one usually sees it, at least in Southern Canada - only in severe Winters. It would be perhaps be better suited as Nunavut's bird- except that Quebec had already and wisely chosen it, long before Canada go into this game.
And the Canada Goose, or the Snow Goose? The only time one seems them is high overhead, when they are either going to, or coming back from their extended US vacation. That is except for the few that stay here to enjoy their free handouts while they befoul our parks and beaches.
Nope. The Gray Jay is the bird of choice. A universal Canadian bird to be seen in both cities and countryside alike.

Parce que cet oiseau occupe entièrement le territoire canadien....alors que les autres migrent ou sont moins largement distribués.....Un oiseau fait notre climat!!

Gray Jay, Perisoreus canadensis, Mésangeai du Canada, Wisakedjak, formerly and by some still known as Canada Jay or Whiskey Jack, resident of every province and territory but official bird of none, its range mainly within Canada, intelligent, resourceful and beautifully suited to Canadian winters, no other choice would be as fitting as Canada's national bird.

We find it from coast to coast.

J'ai choisi le mésangeai parce qu'il est présent dans tout le Canada et presque exclusivement là. De plus, son allure discrète et son adaptation aux climats froids en font un bon symbole de ce spécimen poli et réservé venu d'un pays nordique qu'est le Canadien, tel que perçu pour la communauté internationale. Et enfin, c'est un oiseau chanteur, famille d'oiseaux que je trouve particulièrement sympathique.

Why the Canada Jay should be Canada’s National Bird.
The Canada or Gray Jay is found in the boreal forests that cover every province of Canada from coast to coast and into the great white north. A modest bird in colour and character, the Canada Jay has soft gray and white coloration and a muted voice that lets you know it is there without bragging about it. Just like the iconic quiet Canadian, the Canada Jay quietly does what it takes to live in the harsh climate of the Canadian North. Like a true Canadian, the Canada Jay likes the boreal forests throughout Canada so much that they stay there year round. As a non-migratory bird their range is Canada with populations in the Alaska, the north-western states and the boreal forests throughout the Asian continent.
Most visitors to the Canadian North will be familiar with the friendly Canada Jay that welcomes travelers to their home with muted “whees” of approval. They are very curious and friendly and will quietly accept treats, sometimes from your hand as their due for sharing their home with you. But don’t leave treats unguarded as the Canada Jay is also a member of the corvidae family that includes jays, magpies, crows and ravens that are all known for their intelligence and love of games. Some call the Canada Jay the Camp Robber because they consider any unguarded treats and attractive items as fair game. Like the raven, the Canada Jay likes to play games and was known as a trickster by the Algonquian peoples who called it Wiskedjak translated to Whiskey Jack.
Like the Canadian Family that saves for the future, the Canada Jay prudently stores food for the harsh winter months. The males attract females by offering tasty food items. Once mated the Canada Jay family is monogamous and some of the young stay with the family to help feed the next years nestlings.
In conclusion, the Gray or Canada Jay by nature and residency is an icon of the Canadian Great White North and the Canadian peoples.

I select this bird for the same reasons others have mentioned - its tough Northern character, its intelligence and resourcefulness.
I do love the chickadee, particularly because of how other birds join its flocks for safety...but I really don't think we should adopt a bird that is already the symbol of one of our provinces. The chickadee is already the provincial bird of NB, like the snowy owl in QC, and the loon in ON. The grey jay is unclaimed, and like the chickadee, lives in all provinces and territories. It represents our boreal forests, which are so
important to our nation and our planet. It represents the beautiful wilderness we will lose if we aren't more vigilant.

It's not already 'claimed' like the Snowy Owl and the Common Loon which I am tired of seeing on our dollar bills and coins. It's also used as a symbol for zillions of other organizations/logos. I'm bored with both. The Gray Jay is fresh as a symbol and very Canadian in its range and its traits. The Gray Jay all the way!!

It is the best choice for all the reasons people have mentioned-its quiet understated beauty, its resourcefulness, its intelligence, and its habitat.

Canada Jay!

First, its range and its French and scientific names show it to be very much our Canadian bird.
Second, its behaviour of living in the wilderness and yet not being a bit shy appeals to me. I have seen photos of my elder brother long ago in a logging camp with a whiskey jack, as he called it , sitting on his hand.

The Canada Jay is an icon of the Canadian wilderness with a true Canadian personality. The Canada Jay or Whiskey Jack in a friendly but reserved bird with a muted voice like the iconic quiet Canadian. They are frequent visitors to camp sites where they show no fear of the people they find there and will accept snacks if offered and even steal a treat or two from the fireside. It is a very good sign of a good campsite when a Canada jay flies out to see who will be visiting their territory.

They live here year round...... they are friendly...... and they are smart (hide and refind a winter's supply of feed), nest when there is still snow. And will eat out of your hand.

Beautiful bird!

Grey jay all the way

Who am I to argue with both David Bird and Robert Bateman.

The gray jay is distributed all across Canada and possess the same qualities that Canadian's are known for.

GRAY JAYS are hardy, super friendly and intelligent to boot! How can they not be representative of Canada, eh?!!

In my mind, I thought that the "Canada" Jay, as it was called in the old days, was officially the Canada's National Bird! I remember that a Canada stamp was even issued, showing this incridebly intelligent bird, representing it as our National Bird; that was back in the sixties if I remember well. The Common Loon and the Snowy Owl are the official birds of respectively Ontario and Québec. So why not give a chance to the Gray Jay, le Geai du Canada, wich is a yearround resident of our beautiful boreal forest?

When you live in any isolated area in Canada, grey jays can be unique and loyal friends. I have a group of three which have been in my life for many years, the eldest for thirteen years. He is unique and distinct from other grey jays because of his extra large eyes. He eats out of hand and follows me on walks in the community. I can call my jays at any time of the day and they will come. The great thing about them is they can be found in many parts of Canada. Great birds with many interesting traits which are unique to them! Love my grey jays!

We Need A Bird That Suit's Us We Are Friendly So The Gray Bird Is Perfect I Don't Know Why People Are Voting For Aggressive Bird's Were Really Nice.

A perfect bird to represent Canada! I am delighted to discover that is can be found in every province and territory in Canada and that this fine bird is a permanent resident of Canada (12 months of the year). While I considered both of the leading choices (loon and snowy owl), I thought it prudent to rule out any bird that was already representative of a province or territory. After reading the other posts, it just seemed right to vote for the gray jay, which will be the Canada jay to me hence forth. I am spreading the news of your contest and encouraging voting by students in my classroom - learn about different bird species and use that knowledge to make a difference.

The gray jay is found in all 13 of Canada’s provinces and territories and almost exclusively in Canada. That makes it a quintessentially Canadian bird.

This bird seems to be anywhere in the forest where I have hiked and skied. Most of its range is in Canada, and it is found in a large part of Canada. It is a bit of a rascal; that's the only thing unCanadian about it.

I completely agree with the reasons put forth by Robert Bateman & Dr. Bird outlining why the Gay Jay, also known as the Canada Jay and Whisky Jack, & officially as Perisoreus canadensis should be Canada's national bird.

Kudos to Canadian Geographic for initiating the National Bird Project.

Kay Rogers, near Perth Ontario.

The gray jay is a friendly bird found in all 13 provinces. It used to be called the Canada jay but the name was changed 50 years ago. If the gray jay becomes national bird, I think it is possible that the name could be changed back.
The loon and snowy owl are birds of Ontario and Quebec, and I don't think it makes sense to have the same type of bird as the national bird.

At first I wanted to vote for our lovely loons. Such amazing birds, and their haunting call perfectly calls the canadian wilderness to mind. But our corvids are equally deserving - so intelligent and personable. I think what swayed me to vote for the Gray Jay instead was the fact that they are year round residents in Canada, sticking with us through our long and difficult winters. They are true Canadian survivors, just like us!

See David Bird's comments on the virtues of this bird.

Many before me have posted eloquent reasons that make good sense.
Return to its original name - the Canada Jay... and adopt as national bird.
Second on my list is Grey Owl - but Gray Jay is known across entire nation so cannot argue with that.

Truly Canadian. Here for all the seasons.

I feel that the gray jay is truly the Canadian National Bird.

The National Bird has to reflect the nature of Canadians and be present in most of the provinces.

I like the friendly nature of the gray jay and being present in 13 provinces simply casts my vote.

Since it is a bird found in every province and territory of Canada I recommend it.

Not only will the Grey Jay eat from your hand (brave and trusting) but will also climb onto your plate at a picnic with a view to sharing your meal (sociable and resourceful). At least, in their relations with people, they don't have the hard-edged personalities of their cousins, the blue jays. They bring cheer and a chuckle.


Intelligent, friendly, spread all over Canada. Not yet selected by a province.

All the other birds can be found in other countries or only in parts of Canada. Many don't spend all their time in Canada either. The gray jay lives in ALL 13 of Canada’s provinces and territories and is considered one the smartest bird in the world. In addition, they do not migrate, so like most Canadians it endures our winters. Lastly, they have a friendly personality and are considered to be hearty and resourceful.

Its behaviour is very Canadian

I like the fact that the gray jay is found in every province and territory in Canada and that it was originally known as the "Canada Jay." It also enjoys the support and personal choice of Dr David Bird (noted ornithologist of McGill).

Years ago when out hunting I had shot a moose. As I started to dress the moose, within a minute or two a Whiskey Jack landed on a branch a foot or two from me waiting for a free meal. Cheeky little guy!

Used to be called Canada Jay for a reason. Year-round resident in Canada and entire range nearly entirely within Canada.

A tough choice between this one and the raven - both are seen in the majority of our country, both are intelligent and have a wide variety of calls; both are imps! Both are important to our aboriginal peoples - in fact, Whisky Jack is a corruption of a native name for the bird. But ravens are abundant in other countries too. I don't think the "Canada" Jay is. It is a true resident of the boreal lands, and loves camping with us. It is also prettier than a raven, too. So, although my name means raven, I vote Canada Jay. Please make sure you if you insist on calling it Gray Jay you spell it the Canadian way: "Grey"!

I found Professor Bird's (emeritus of McGill Univ) explanation of why the (formerly) Canada Jay should be named Canada's national bird. I especially like its friendliness and attractive plumage, and I think its typically Canadian territory is a plus.
Note: I am a Canadian citizen living in US currently and my daughter is attending McGill Univ which brought this vote to my attention.

The Gray Jay, aka the Canada Jay, is present in all provinces and only slightly in the U.S. down the spine of the Rockies. It is a hearty northern bird that thrives in winter and does not migrate south. Its family bonds are strong with one of the young from the previous year staying with the parents. It is sociable and will connect with humans (usually by taking food).

Smart, intelligent, different from the norm. Let's set ourselves apart and break away from the mundane public expectation of loon or goose.

I like that it is found in every province and no where else - if it were human it would define Canadian!

such a pretty, friendly, non offensive bird!

The gray jay is always with me everywhere I go in Canada any time of the year. It is friendly, easy to get close to, no fancy airs, not pretentious. It gives one the reassuring feeling of a trusted companion.

The nation wide range of the grey jay appeals to me.

This is a friendly bird that comes to say hello when you are out in the boreal forest

Grey jay's are everywhere in Canada, year round.
Last week I was hand feeding a Grey jay while snowmobiling near Golden BC.

The grey jay is the best choice because it is a common bird in Canada that is not the provincial bird of any province and because of its wide distribution.

In the 70's, 80's and earl y 90's, my late husband and I went on canoe trips in Ontario and BC. We seemed to be accompanied by the gregarious whiskey jack or gray Jay who would wait patiently sometimes on the end of the canoe paddle while we finished our lunch break waiting for the rest of the gorp,which I
would make. The bird or birds seemed to enjoy it as well as us. Even when wind bound we enjoyed the company.
Once while cross country skiing in Algonquin Park, other than some wolf tracks the only company when we stopped for a break was the joyful chatter of the friendly gray jay.

PLEASE read the essay of Professor Bird PHD from Montreal. I agree with his points, especially those about not voting for Ontario's Loon or Quebec"s Snowy Owl or the Canada Goose that so many people in Canada and USA and even Britain HATE!!! PLEASE READ IT.

I wish they could be enticed to move further south to Lake Erie.

lovely article in the Brantford expositor on feb 28. its a species that I had no knowledge on and therefore it receives my vote

un vrai canadien, d'un océan à l'autre et à longueur d'année!
De plus, il a de belles qualités sociables.

Mes deux premiers critères de sélection ont été: un oiseau présent dans tous les territoires/provinces du Canada, et une aire de distribution (été comme hiver) le plus possible concentrée au Canada autrement dit, si vous voyez cet oiseau, vous êtes fort probablement au Canada. Trois oiseaux se démarquent: le Harfang des neiges, le Mésangeai du Canada et le Tétras du Canada. J'élimine malheureusement le Harfang des neiges car c'est déjà l'emblème aviaire d'une province (Québec) mais surtout parce qu'il est absent dans le sud du pays en été. J'élimine aussi le Tétras du Canada car il peut être chassé durant certaines périodes de l'année. Et finalement, ceux qui ont déjà rencontré des Mésangeais du Canada dans les forêts canadiennes savent à quel point c'est un oiseau facile d'approche et de bonne compagnie!!!

I've looked at most of the birds contending for this title, and read some of the essays/paragraphs. I agree with the Grey Jay(Whiskey Jack) supporters, they are the loyal bird who stays here in Canada, all year long. I used to enjoy their company when I was a kid in NW Ontario, during my family wildrice harvesting camping excursions. The whiskey jack would always fly around the kitchen tent, and wait for us to call them to the table.
They were polite, never bugged us for food, or screamed at us. They would come to my dad's hand, and sit and eat bread crumbs out of his hand.
Good memories of a Good Canadian Bird

I created a short-list of candidates based on the range maps, keeping only species that are 1) widespread across Canada and 2) lived almost exclusively in Canada. Although I have a soft spot for Snowy Owls, the fact that it is already the official bird of one province eliminated it. Also, it isn't all that common a sight. Anyone who has ever been out skiing has met Whiskey Jacks.

I originally thought of the Osprey as a fitting National Bird but when I saw the listing for the Gray Jay (whom we have always called the "Canada Jay") I realized that this sweet natured little fellow perfectly symbolizes the nature of this great country of ours as well as our peoples...they are hardy and rugged enough to not only survive but thrive in our weather extremes and yet they are friendly and trusting creatures, always ready to make friends and accept visitors to their home territories!

What could be better except if the world would call them by their real names...."The CANADA Jay"!

I love the idea of the national bird being in every province. Also- I love the loon but do not want it to make it through as the national bird. The blue heron is a favorite for me but I think the Gray jay has a better chance of making it to the end!!

One of our most interesting birds to watch.

A true campfires friend and a true Canadian. Friendly yet thrifty

Je pense le mésangeai du Canada devrait être Canada’s l’oiseau nationale de parce-que il est trouver en toute 13 provinces et territoires. Il est à peine fonder dans le Êtats-Unis. Il séjours dans Canada tout année ronder quelle faires il ne pas un circumpolaire espèce.
Le mésangeai du Canada est pas une mettre en danger espèce ainsi leur est non Canadiens volonté tirer il.
Le mésangeai du Canada est non une officielle oiseau espèce de tout de les 10 provinces et 3 territoires. Il ne peut pas être confus avec tout les autres oiseaux espèces. 99.6 pour cent de Canadiens ne peut pas dire le différence entre une corneille et une corbeau.
Le mésangeai du Canada est non considéré comme odieux ou une nuisance espèce. Il est aussi extrêmement amical vers humains comme tout Canadiens.
C’est pourquoi je pense le mésangeai du Canada devrait être le oiseau nationale de Canada.

The gray jay is friendly like people say about Canadians. They also aren't birds of pray so they're peaceful. They also live in almost all of Canada. I made a haiku:
They are so friendly
everywhere in Canada
don't hunt animals

Relashion with raven

Canada Jay red presents range from East to West coast north to the Canadian a Arctic .
Truly representative range for a national bird!

The Gray Jay (or Canada Jay as it should be called) has my vote for all the same reasons as everyone else has already mentioned. Mainly because it is the only bird that is truly representative of all of Canada, it deserves to be our national bird!

My first choice would have been the Cardinal or Blue Jay. But, then I read about the personality of the Gray Jay and fell in love with it. I only seen the Gray Jay once at the Kirby Ski Area, east of Oshawa, Ontario. The Gray Jay would get more votes if it visited populated areas more often. I'm also a fan of the Cedar Waxwing which looks like a Blue Jay, with less color, but, softer textures.

Oiseau très sympa et se laissant approcher ( comme les Canadiens),et est partout toute l'année au Canada !

A bird that is so successful that doesn't have to migrate and breeds mid-winter. Admittedly it begs for food from hikers, and I've seen lunches disappear, bit by bit, from audience members. Once I saw a whiskey jack leave with a large apple in its grasp - no shortage of ambition or flying prowess there.

O Canada!

l'oiseau est très intelligent.

My first reason why the Gray jay should be chosen for the national bird project. The gray jay nests in during late winter, the gray jay “hoards” food in summer for the next winter. I think the gray jay should be Canada’s national bird because it is friendly, beautiful and intelligent.
The first reason is the gray jay is very friendly bird. The gray jay if you put bird seeds on your head it will land on your head and stay there not harming you.
The second reason is it is very beautiful. It’s a very fluffy bird, it has gray, blue and white feathers on their tail and wing feathers. Also they have gray round body. They have a blue beak.
The final reason is that the gray jay is very intelligent. It is very smart, it can it uses it’s sticky saliva to stick food to branches.
The gray jay is friendly, beautiful and smart. These are reasons why the gray jay should be chosen to be Canadian’s national bird.

Grey jay (whiskey jack)

Do you know the Grey jay … you probable have Canada is needing a bird for are country so I am voting for the Grey jay and I am going to show you why .
The Grey jay lives all year long in all provincus and territories from treeline to nothern canada ,alaska south though boreal, subalpine foreseat to northen californaia on the west coust.
The Grey jay is a very friendly bird and will swoop down for hand outs and flying tree to tree steeling food (cache food during the summer)!

Have you ever heard of a cute little bird called a Gray Jay? I have and I think it should be Canada’s national bird! This bird has a short bill and a long white tipped tail. These birds and only black and gray. They eat all kinds of things like arthropods, berries, other nesting birds and fungi. These are my reasons. 1) The Gray Jay stays in Canada all year long. 2) It’s in all thirteen provinces and territories .3) It can survive cold weather like Canadians !
I think the Gray Jay should be Canada’s national bird. First of all this bird stays in Canada all year long. Gray Jays stay in Canada throughout all the seasons even winter. It stays all year long because it stores food in trees in the summer and leaves. It remember where the food is stored and it comes back in winter. Second the Gray Jay is found in all thirteen provinces and territories
•British Columbia
•New Brunswick
•Newfoundland and Labrador
-North West territories
•Nova Scotia
•Prince Edward Island

Third the Gray Jay can survive though winter and! It can survive up to -20 degrees like us Canadians right?

In conclusion I think the Gray Jay should be Canada’s national bird because its brave like Canadians!

Wait. Stop. Did you hear that? “Cha-cha-cha-cah.” There it is again. That’s the sound of the Gray Jay. The Gray Jay’s behavior is that they are ground foragers. They’re also known as “scavengers” or “camp robbers”. They are called that for one reason, they tend to collect food from family camps. Now let’s get a bit serious. I think the Gray Jay should be Canada’s official bird because it is found all over Canada and it survives in our best known season, winter. Also they are resourceful, they stay in one habitat and they nest in the winter.

My first reason is that they survive in the winter. They do this by gathering food items in fall and summer. All the food gets hidden (which they did) and they remember where they hid it. Throughout those 2 seasons, the birds collected as much as tens of thousands of food items. This relates to Canada because winter is our best known season.

Another reason is that they are found all over Canada. These birds are in all provinces and territories. They are found south of the agricultural lands, Canadian prairies and southern Ontario in the urban areas. The Gray Jays are also found in mountain areas.

To add on, they have an interesting way of nesting. The Gray Jay nests later in the winter. When it incubates its eggs, the temperatures can drop below minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit. They can lay 3-5 eggs and they look a greenish- greyish. They make their nest very unique. It’s made out of twigs; bark strips and it is lined with some feathers and fur.
This relates to Canada because the Gray Jay can still nest in our cold temperatures.

A fourth reason is that they are very resourceful. They use their sticky saliva to glue some of their small food items they have collected to tree branches. They glue it above the height of the snow lines that will eventually come. This relates to Canada because we are resourceful too, we gather things that we need.

Lastly, the Gray Jay stays in one habitat. Wherever it is, whether it is the tree line of Canada in the highest mountain or even in the extreme north, the Gray Jay is a permanent resident. All year the birds that have a mate occupy their territories, which are around 65-70 hectares. They often share their territories but only with another jay that is not breeding or a non-breeding type. In this way they are showing their kindness.

This bird has many qualities that are related to Canada. Like their habitat and their abilities. It’s about time that the Gray Jay becomes Canada’s official bird!

Passe l'hiver au Canada, peu farouche et facile à observer en foret.

Parce qu'il est très très sociable, qu'on le retrouve dans toutes les provinces et qu'il habite toute l'année au pays.

C'est est un tres bel oiseau

The Gray Jay has a history with the Common Raven and It has such a smart brain!!!

They are one of Canada's beautiful songbirds that really represent Canada. They live in most of Canada and some of the US. They are very friendly with people like we Canadians are! Their nickname, Whisky Jay, come from their Aboriginal name Wiskedjak and they are the only Canadian bird that still has its Aboriginal name. Very Canadian. This should be Canada's national bird for the years to come.

Whiskey Jack Canada Jay, that's all I can say!

The Gray Jay should be Canada's Bird because it's range covers most of Canada. It also stays in Canada year-round.

I have seen the Gray Jay from coast to coast. This is truly a great bird to represent Canada.


I'm voting for the Whiskey Jack - otherwise known as the Canada Jay. They are perky, intellegent birds, who stay with us all year. Quite frankly, this is the only bird that is all across this country, and from North to South. They don't suffer fools - not even in their own breed. Since I consider that this is a major part of the Canadian character, the Canada Jay makes more sense than any other bird. If you have ever watched a Canada Jay during breeding season, you will have seen a bird that lets you know where he is - and what he/she thinks of your intrusion into his/her area while the nestlings are still very young. By the way - woe can befall you if you decide to climb up the tree to see the nestlngs. Be prepared for a severe scoding, and if that doesn't work - those beeks make excellent weapons to protect the nest and its contents. For all of these reasons - and because I cosider the Canada Jay to be a true representative for Canada, I hereby cast MY vote for the Canada Jay.

Oiseau très familier et sociable associé à mes souvenirs d'enfance dans la forêt boréale

The Whiskey-Jack is a highly visible bird that enhances our natural experiences in most parts of this great country. It actively interacts with people and has many vocal calls to entertain. It is resourceful and friendly, which are qualities that would represent us well. Some of my own fondest memories are of times when a flock of Whiskey-Jack were about camp and the kids would have a great time feeding them. I hope that we can encourage the use of the name Whiskey-Jack rather than Gray Jay because it seems to capture their personality better and there is a connection to the original native name. We have many interesting and beautiful birds in Canada but when it comes to a bird to represent us I think the Whiskey-Jack has the best overall range of qualities to do this the best.

Nous souhaitons que le mésangeai du Canada gagne ce concours car c'est un bel oiseau et il est débrouillard. On le retrouve partout dans les provinces canadiennes, rusé afin d'obtenir ce qu'il désire, il chante merveilleusement bien et il ne semble pas en voie de disparition. Astucieux,audacieux et familier, il vit parmi nous tout l'hiver et en plus, nous le voyons aux quatre saisons. De plus, il a un port majestueux. Il peut vivre jusqu'à 19 ans! Il mérite cet honneur : devenir l'oiseau officiel du Canada.

We have many pictures of my Father and crew feeding "Whiskey Jacks" from their hands as they themselves ate their lunch while employed in the "Bush Camps" in Northern Ontario during the 30's and 40's. My family just had the same pleasure while skiing in Whistler this winter. This is truly "THE" Canadian Bird. I only wish more Canadians could experience the friendliness of this wild bird. They are so naturally friendly and trusting. They embellish the world belief of what Canadians stand for.

Based on it's habitat/location alone, the Gray Jay/Whiskey Jack is the only choice as it is located throughout Canada in every province year round. I also think the fact that it is not found in the US or elsewhere is also important as it truly makes it a unique bird to Canada alone.

The next obvious choices for the same most important location reason in order of year round vs migration locations throughout and unique to Canada, would be the Spruce Grouse, Snowy Owl, Grey Owl, then Black-backed Woodpecker.

However, the Gray Jay/Whiskey Jack is the best choice for many other reasons including support from the Canadian scientific bird community, historical references in stories and songs, etc.

As cool as some of the other birds are, the fact that this common bird is found in every province throughout Canada and mainly only Canada, should determine that the Gray Jay/Whiskey Jack (aka Canada Jay), is truly the best choice to represent Canada's National bird.

Dr Bird's description of the gray jay's characteristics parallels the general Canadian personality very well. And it's a songbird. Everyone knows that singing is very good for the spirit.

C'est le plus représentatif! C'est celui qui est le plus retrouver sur le territoire, c'est un oiseaux qui ne représente aucune province.

Corvids are awesome, nothing else needs stating.

I picked the Gray Jay because it is in every province in Canada.

I've never forgotten my encounters with Gray Jays on Grouse Mountain.
They perched on my shoulders, head and hands and although they accepted food, they were not aggressive, just very friendly and trusting.

The archetypal sentinel of the Great Canadian Northern Forest.

I'm voting for the Whiskey Jack for the reason my Mom did. She says:

"I just voted for the Whiskey Jack,also called the Grey Jay as my choice as Canada's bird. My reasons for picking this bird dates back to my early teenage years living in northern Ontario in Lochalsh and Renabie mines.These were both very small towns. Lochalsh had only ten families. I spent most of my time alone out of doors especially in the winter .I would do a lot of wood cutting and sitting just observing nature. The whiskey Jack's always kept me company. They are a true Canadian bird ,living right across Canada and they stay with us year round" - Grace LeBlanc.

Having read the information on the Gray Jay, it seems the ideal candidate to be entered for the title of Canada's National Bird.

Familier, intelligent et répandu dans notre pays, le Mésangeai du Canada a bien des caractéristiques intéressantes pour être l'emblème national. En plus, il est facile à voir de près (jusque dans nos propres mains!).

Le nom de notre pays est dans son nom français ainsi que dans son nom scientifique. C'est d'ailleurs l'un des premiers oiseaux décrits à partir d'individus provenant du Canada. De plus, il est très répandu dans notre pays, familier et sympathique, facile à identifier et est présent au Canada à l'année. Finalement, c'est l'oiseau qui a le plus de votes parmi ceux qui ne sont pas déjà emblème d'une province (je pense que ces derniers devraient être retirés de la liste).

These jays populated our back yard when I was a child and always made me happy. So I pick the jay!

After reading and learning much from many of the essays already posted, I voted Gray Jay (Whiskey Jack as I know it). Even though I have my favourite birds (Raven being one of them), I feel the National bird should be one that represents Canada best from coast to coast in it's commonness, it's splendour, it's simplicity, it's aboriginal peoples, it's gentleness, it's humbleness, it's kindness, it's beauty, and it's strength.

Grey Jays are Canadians!

Some years ago, while in transit in late May from Ontario to a new job in Vancouver, BC, we stopped for a picnic lunch at a viewing point along the Trans-Canada highway Rogers Pass.
We were greeted and joined by a pair of Gray Jays at our picnic table. They happily helped themselves to portions of our lunch and entertained us during our lunch.
Never forgot that picnic and this experience. The Gray Jays expressed no fear of our presence at the site. After all it was there terrain and no doubt they were extracting a "toll" to proceed.
Great memory and I do believe this bird must be our choice for Canada's National Bird.

The Gray Jay or as I prefer to call him...the Whiskey Jack is my pick for Canada's bird. He ranges right across Canada and he stays with us all year long.
My early teenage years were spent in Northern Ontario,north of Chapleau. We lived in very small had only 10 families. I had only a couple of friends but I always had the whiskey Jacks to keep me company. I just had to sit down outside for a while and they would show up! Great Company for a young Canadian! He has my vote!

I'm sorry I don't really have a lot of time to write an essay but I do want to say that this bird should be our Canadian Feathered Mascot! His life and antics have true Canadian characteristics. I don't mind sharing my hiking lunch when he sneaks up and takes a snack. He's a friend.

Stories from pioneers and hikers all across Canada consistently offer millions of examples of how Gray Jays readily establish friendships with humans even in the most remote areas of the Canadian wilderness. Throughout the years, we always cherish our delightful experiences with the Canadian Gray Jays as they eagerly land in our hands so that they may gently retrieve little pieces of nourishing food such as seeds or nuts. Whether we're hiking in alpine meadows that are blooming with magnificent wild flowers, cross-country skiing on dazzling snow laden hillsides or snowshoeing in the quiet winter mist, these delicate little birds have always been there for us to offer their sweet dispositions and good cheer. Even the most rowdy school child, attempting to snowshoe for the first time, is transformed into the calmest, kindest individual when given the opportunity to offer food, from his or her outstretched hand, to a wild Gray Jay. At an international level, the Gray Jay is likely to be one of the most respected national birds as it represents strength to survive in extreme temperatures in rugged wilderness conditions, loyalty to the flock and consistent trust in humans to be kind. It makes sense to vote for the Gray Jay as our national bird since since it represents all of the qualities that we aspire to as Canadians whether we are at home or traveling abroad.

i like the idea of this bird, and the fact that it likes Canada in all seasons, just like me!

The Gray Jay is found all across Canada and is a well-loved bird for its curious and friendly nature just like Canadians!

Le mésangeai du canada est très mignon.

Je pense que mon oiseau est mignons parce que c'est petit.

The highly intelligent gray jay has been a fireside companion of people of canada since pre-historic times. Gregarious, hardy and clever, the gray jay embodies the spirit of the wilderness and of those people that survived in it and called it home - making their living through ingenuity and perserverance, and eventually creating a connected community with shared values that spans this wide continent.
This bird occurs across the country and as a bonus, it has the important distinction of not already being claimed as a provincial bird.

The Gray Jay lives year round in every province and territory in Canada and does not migrate. Its related to the crow family so its an intelligent and friendly bird. It's a pretty bird and doesn't sound bad either...

Whiskey Jacks are amazing birds... bold, daring and curious they can engage hikers, x-country skiers and campers to seek a morsel of food. They have trust in humans as they will land in one's hand to check for food. I think most Canadians are helpful, friendly and enjoy a bit of harmless mischief and that's why I choose the Whiskey Jack.

The gray jay is also a harbinger of climate change. The bird is moving north as our climate warms. Check out the Algonquin Park program re gray jay.

If Birds are the messengers of the Gods, I think the Gray Jay would be a Candidate. They seem to float on the air. What I like the most about the Gray Jay is how silently they arrive into 'your midst'. Before you know it, there are 1/2 dozen peering down at you from their coniferous perches.
They have a bit of the opportunist in them, and you don't watch your ham sandwich that you have placed on your pack sack, they will swoop down and take the WHOLE THING! The arrival of Gray Jays into camp is always a happy occurence and to think of them now makes me smile. Should a Gray Jay be the symbolic Bird of a Nation?
I think that would be too much of a burden to any of Canada's wonderful Family of the Winged Ones, we are of the Northern Hemisphere, the Boreal Forests, the "cradle of Life" and many many Birds arrive to Canada and build their families. I think the organizers of this "competition" are avoiding the REAL PROBLEMS of what is going down in this country, LOSS OF HABITAT and now the senseless slaughter of Wolves, as if they are to blame for OVER HUNTED herds of Caribou and Moose populations. WAKE UP! Canadian Geographic and do something useful. You must earn a siting of this mystical feathered creature of soft gray and big head of intelligence.Urbanites will never know what a Gray Jay is unless they visit and dwell in the wild places. by Rita Komendant of Thunder Bay.

I listen to Dr. Bird's reasons for supporting the "Canada" Gray Jay. I concur!

Je pense que le Mésangeai du Canada est un excellent candidat, car il est présent partout au Canada. Il est très familier avec les gens. Et représente bien la forêt boréale qui est dominante au Canada.

I do not have an essay but I would like to share my personal experiences with Gray Jays and the common relative the Blue Jay. I agree that they sum up Canadians very well in that they are gentle but wild. Corvids in general are amazing intelligent birds with exceptional personalities. I am a wildlife rehabilitator on Vancouver Island at the Wild Arc and can account for personal interactions with these birds and they always amaze me with their inquisitive and playful nature. I once had a close relationship with a Blue Jay who was more human imprinted than he should have been but I looked forward to the blessed interactions from him daily as he would endeavor to land on my shoulder and try to hide pieces of corn in my ears and shirt pockets, even successfully untie my shoes! We would sit contemplatively on a log and I would share my lunch with him. The eyes of a Jay show endless wisdom and tell fables and stories of the importance of man and wildlife living harmoniously and that co-existance is attainable. Every morning he would come to my tent before my day at work and wait outside patiently until I emerged and then walk and fly along side me telling me stories all the way to the Wildlife Hospital down the trail. "Conehead" as I affectionately called him eventually took to hanging out with his own kind and continued out on new adventures. I can attest to the Jay's endearing nature and would truly feel blessed to have such a bird represent us as Canadians. Taking an interlude outside in the mountains, feeling the the wind at my back and the snow covered peaks of the Rocky Mountains, the smell of pine and the jibber of joyful communications of the Gray Jay resonates being Canadian with me.

we need something other than the loon which is already prominent and the gar jay gives us friendly pleasure with its aggressive and friendly behaviour

I think the Gray Jay is the prefect choice it is a truly hardy Canadian bird. The Gray/Whiskey Jack is the one bird on the list that is not only found throughout all Canada, but like us it is not a fair weather bird and it is a survivor.

Very interesting and a truly CANADIAN bird. Any bird that breeds in February should surly be recognized. It is widespread across Canada and almost solely Canada and of course remains here year round. Nicknamed "Canada Jay".

Gray jay gets my vote because of the memories I have of them at my remote cabin in Northern Manitoba. They come to our back deck every morning to eat the leftover toast from our hands.

He's awesome and adorable and sat on my head when I was snowshoeing

After hearing a man in the radio listing off about a dozen great reasons why the Grey Jay represents Canada and Canadians the best, I was convinced!

It is a beautiful (and social) bird that is found across Canada.

I vote for the Gray Jay because it is known to inhabit all of the provinces and the Territories and the Yukon.

I chose the Gray Jay because it is a beautiful friendly bird. I like to call it a Giant Chick-A-Dee because the coloring is very similar.
We don't see them very often here but enjoy them when they do come around.
I would like to see the Gray Jay get picked as the National Bird because it is truly a Canadian bird!!!!

I vote for the Gray Jay, as it is found in almost EVERY part of Canada, and not much in the U.S.A. My second choice would be the loon, but it is also found extensively in the U.S., as well as already being the provincial bird of Ontario. This jay lives with us all year round, not leaving for warmer climes during the winter. The Whiskey Jack is friendly and opportunistic, giving me much pleasure when it perches on my outstretched hand to eat what I offer it when I am X country skiing.

Dr. Bird says it all!

I'd love to see the Whiskey Jack/Gray Jay become Canada's national bird because it's the only bird that's truly Canadian and that lives in all parts of Canada. It isn't commonly found in any other country. It's a nice little bird and Canadians are known around the world for our niceness so how could we pick a better bird than this?

The Gray Jay is a companion that I enjoy when I'm hiking in the mountains.. My children enjoyed feeding them by hand. A friendly, peaceful, intelligent bird. James Servizi

I think its cool bird. And its found pretty much all over Canada!

I remember as a kid ski-doo'ing and I would see these beautiful little birds on the ice. I knew that if they were with us in the winter that they had to be here all year round, turns out that they are. As Canadians we seem to have a companion even in our harsh winters. This is Canada's National Bird.

Geai du Canada comme emblème du Canada

J'ai choisi cet oiseau que je vois de ma fenêtre tous les jours. Il est vraiment de chez nous et tous l'aime. Il vit à notre rythme et nous fait partager sa joie par son cri.
Je souhaite que cet oiseau charmant soit notre emblème pour toutes les taisons énumérées dans les autres textes explicatifs

I love the gray jay, it reminds me or earl grey tea!

j'ai vraiment pu l'apprécier récemment lors d'une randonnée en raquettes au camp Mercier.

I am voting for this bird because it is a very Canadian bird.... and it has a cool name!

Choisir un oiseau unique. Le nôtre. Notre emblème .Qui nous ressemble donc qui passe l'hiver ici.

The gentle, polite Gray Jay is the quintessential Canadian with the subtle and beautiful colouring in complete harmony with it's chosen northern home. And let's not forget the nod to a mischievous nature hinted at by the Whiskey Jack nickname and habit of 'sharing' campers' food.

J'aime qu'il soit toute l'année avec nous et qu'il ne soit pas l'emblème d'aucune province.
J'aime aussi son chant qui est facile à reconnaître .

The Gray Jay is the only species that can be found in all 10 provinces and 3 Territories. It is typical of boreal forests, which are a quintessential ecosystem of our country.

Oiseau adapté à nos conditions climatiques, présent toute l'année dans toutes les provinces, peu farouche et élégant.

The Gray Jay, also known as Canada Jay, is a year-round Canadian resident bird species occupying the vast Boreal, Great Lakes - St. Lawrence and Mountain Forests across our country, extending northward to the treeline. Its range connects across much of our human inhabited landscape. The Canada Jay is generally mild mannered, curious and smart, hiding and storing many food items to be accessed later for survival - quite fitting to remind us of emergency preparedness, diplomacy, and to listen and watch before we speak.

Oiseau distribué dans l'ensemble du Canada, qui passe ses hivers ici, qui n'est pas farouche et n'est pas déjà l'emblème d'une province.

Je connais cet oiseau de nos forêts et il me plaît pour sa capacité d'adaptation aux changements saisonniers extrêmes de notre climat canadien. Il me plaît aussi pour la représentation de son habitat couvrant tout le territoire canadien.
Sans être flamboyant de robe, ses courbettes et son vol ondulé le rendent charmant à toute observation ornithologique. Vraiment un emblème pour le pays entier, il le sera.

Gray Jays should be national because they don't migrate and they just beaurinal and very smart.

Beautiful, friendly and live here year round .... it just describes a typical Canadian

This bird would represent Canada well and for a long time. I'd really like the original name "CANADA JAY" to be returned to this bird even if it doesn't become our national bird.

Lives in Canada year round, friend of the lumberjack, should have its former name back (CANADA Jay). Best overall choice. Loon and owl are already "taken" by provinces.

the gray jay is a friendly beautiful canadian bird.q7

C'est un très bel oiseau que je nourris régulièrement. Il est avide de peanuts en écale. Il est surtout très intelligent et il a une excellent mémoire. La matin s'il n'y a pas de peanuts près des mangeoires il se place sur la main courante du balcon et il me réveille avec son cri strident. Le spectacle de ballet qu'il offre et ses couleurs son une source de bonheur lorsque je l'observe.

Un bel oiseau que l'on peut observer de près sur tout le territoire du Canada. Intrépide, fidèle il s'occupe de la femelle et des oisillons. Il est intelligent comme tous les corvidés, pour se nourrir il dérobe de la nourriture aux villégiateurs insouciants.

This bird is totally Canadian. It has winter plumage, rears its young in the cold weather. It is extremely intelligent & inquisitive, quick to make friends. Aggressive when required.What more could you ask for.

The Gray Jay - the Canada Jay. It is resident in all Provinces; is not already a Provincial Bird; is hardy; resourceful; and truly Canadian.

Best bird as it is not a national in any country.

Great companion and entertainer when I'm hunting or ice fishing. Fun to watch them hide the food in the trees.

The Gray Jay contributed to the appreciation of the wilderness for my self and my family
while camping throughout B.C. It was a wonderful experience for each of my children while growing up to have the Whisky Jacks visit our camping site and accepting food being offered by each of the children. Each of the children are very interested in the
wilderness areas,they are all three now adults with children of their own and have already passed along a love of the Whisky Jacks and the birds of our wilderness areas.

It's smart
It can weather the cold
It doesn't crap everywhere like the goose does
It's the world's most popular colour
It's clearly reflective of Canada!

We call them whiskey jacks here and they are so much fun to watch, they will actually eat out of your hand, they're not overbearing and annoying like magpies and do not chase smaller birds away.

The Grey Jay is the most truly CANADIAN of the front runners.
I like that it is found in every province & territory is resident and stays here (like us) in the winter.

Very beautiful bird, curious and confiant with humans, present everywhere in Canadian National Parks.

Truly a Canadian bird lives here year round. Is extremely friendly as we Canadians are and they will feed from your hand and even bring its young to feed.It is a very intelligent bird and hides food in trees to sustain them through our harsh Canadian winters. The male and female are very devoted to each other and will always stay together.They are a member of the crow family and are highly intelligent. I strongly feel that this should be Canada's national bird as it reflects the true Canadian spirit

Always enjoyed having them come to the door for bird seed and seemed to follow me when huntn rabbits in NS

We have lived across the country in Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, and have always seen these birds in the wild. As other people have said, they are not shy, but seek out the companionship of anyone they encounter. I believe they are truly a Canadian Bird.

It is unique to Canada - the Aboriginals called it Whiskeyjack - Over the years explorers, trappers, prospectors have all recorded stories about this friendly bird.

How can any other bird be our national bird? Beside the fact that the Gray Jay is found in every province in Canada it was originally named the Canadian Jay, and nicknamed "the whiskey jack" It is friendly, smart and hearty---stays here year round. (It does not migrate.) It is so typically Canadian.

Le mésangeai est le symbole de nos grandes forets boréales. Le lui donne mon vote à 100%.

Espèce présente dans la forêt boréale, qui occupe une grande partie du Canada

Formerly known as Canada Jay. Smart, common across Canada, and not a bird associated with a province.

i would encourage changing the name of the Gray Jay back to the original name "Canada Jay" and designating this lovely, friendly, strong, intelligent bird "Canada's National Bird".
Unlike the other birds, the Gray/Canada Jay is found throughout the country and does not migrate out of Canada. It is distinctively Canadian.

I picked the Grey Jay (Canada Jay) because this hearty little bird is only found in Canada., itis friendly like Canadians, and will feed out of your hand. This tuff bird nests in late winter, early spring. Grey Jays are found in every Province and bring joy when seen in the wild.

Good Choice

It is by far the best solution. Unique to Canada, lives here year-round - found in all parts.

Very good Canadian representative.

Should be Grey Jay and name changed to Canada Jay

While on holiday in B.C. A Gray Jay came to my husband, landed on his hand and ate some cookie crumbs. Lovely bird.

We should have a bird that no one else has, that's predominantely only in Canada and that's social like Canadians. The bird needs to represent us and so this is that bird.

I used to watch my Father-in -law feed the Jays in his backyard. Sometimes right out of his hand.

Wonderful argument for it just presented on Power and Politics

Best fit for our national bird.

also called the camp robber

it's found everywhere

The Gray jay is found throughout Canada, but also occurs only in Canada (with the exception of Alaska). It is a bird species that represents well the country and its inhabitant in the sense that it is in the corvid family, hence ingenious, they are gregarious, and simply beautiful. They also have a closer association with people compared to Snowy owls and Common loon. In my opinion, the choice should be made to reflect Canadian geography and culture. This is why the Gray jay should become our national bird.

This bird is quintessentially Canadian and is the best candidate to represent our country. Anyone who hasn't enjoyed the company of this most friendly bird needs to go outside of their houses and cities, start eating, and enjoy these entertaining visitors.

The Gray Jay is my idea of a true Canadian bird. It invites all into its forest home in friendly gentle manner.

The Gray Jay has my vote because it's a truly Canadian bird - it's range is almost wholly in Canada, it stays in Canada all year round and it thrives in our Canadian winters. What could be more Canadian than that? It has only one non-Canadian trait - it's not polite. It steals food from unsuspecting picnickers and doesn't even say sorry!

Yes, yes, yes please!

great bird!

C'est un oiseau qui représente bien le Canada reconnu comme un pays nordique et je veux appuyer la sélection de la photo d'un membre de notre club des ornithologues de Beauce-Etchemin, M. Réjean Turgeon.

The one Bird that is not scared to fly and visit you in the woods, sympathetic and curious, it is always looking for your food!

It is that bird, not often cited, that deserves our attention!

Love the friendly Gray jay.

From the boreal forest.

Would represent the Canadian birds perfectly.

The Gray Jay (Whiskey Jack) is unique to Canadian folklore, while the Loonie and Snow Owl are already assigned to provinces. The Canadian bird should stand on its own.

J'aime bien le mésangeai même si c'est un voleur de sandwich!
J'ai reçu l'invitation à voter d'un ornithologue qui mentionnait que l'aire de distribution du mésangeai et très grande. Pour ceci je crois qu'il devrait remporter le titre. De plus au Québec c'est un oiseau du Nord, ce qui représente bien la situation géographique du Canada.

Il est présent partout au Canada, durant les quatre saisons et facile à reconnaître et bien connu, partout , par tous.

J'ai déjà eu des Mésangerais du Canada à mon ancienne résidence, ce sont des oiseaux magnifiques, ils sont très sociables, ils ont aussi une belle envolée, je trouve qu'ils sont gracieux. C'est pourquoi, j'ai choisi ce bel oiseau pour nous représenter.

Strong and clever the Gray Jay calls Canada home all year round, through hot summer days and harsh cold winters. A smart bird quick to find food offerings at feeders, brave and bold enough to come to people when food is about. Bold, strong and resourceful sums up the Gray Jay.

Il reste au pays toute l'annee.Ne craint les humain.J'aime son cri

Le Mésangeai du Canada me rappelle par ses couleurs ,son habitat, ses habitudes et son chant aux quatre saisons présentes dans l'entier du Canada.
Aux sorties de l'hiver, je le découvre aux coloris gris -blanc de l'hiver parfois à la recherche de nourritureil partage mon sandwich de pain au beurre d'arachide me permettant de l'observer au cru des éléments de la nature.

Les jeunes aux gazoullis du printemps se pressent de sortir de leur cachot au tout début de l'été aux plumes encore primitives viennent explorer leur nouveau entourage au réveil de l'arrivée des passants sur le bord de la route. Ils sautillent d'une branche à l'autre ne s'éloignant pas trop l'un de l'autre attendant notre départ pour ainsi se rassasier du petit repas de graines laissées sur le gravier. C'est à l'automne que quelques jeunes se rassemblent pour trouver le chemin que leurs parents parcourent chaque année à un climat plus clément pour les prochains mois sachant que
L'hiver canadien ne leur convienne pas toujours. Cependant cet oiseau nous apparaît quand même à toutes les saisons.

Le Mésangeai du Canada habite les régions boisées mais ils aiment bien la présence des humains surtout ceux vivant dans les régions rurales. C'est un grand plaisir d'en voir de trois à six sur les fils de téléphone.ILs nous donnent l'impression qu'ils semblent contents te heureux de se voir dans la présence des habitants.

The Gray jay birds are the most friendly bird to anyone who enjoys the outdoors any time of year .

I vote for the gray jay because he is a bird that is not a provenchil bird

it is cool

Gray Jay as Canada's national bird? Yes, absolutely. Some other contenders certainly have merit, but I think the Gray Jay has the best case. The fact that it can be found in all provinces and territories, but not too far outside of Canada, is an important consideration, and that it stays here year round. It is a fitting symbol of how I view Canada - not overly flashy, but attractive in their own way, understated and strong. They are hardy, intelligent, adaptable, and have a bold, endearing nature. Others have mentioned the former name Canada Jay, and it still has canadensis in the scientific name. Go Gray Jay!

Cet oiseau est présent partout au Canada, et toute l'année.
On lui confère un esprit espiègle et multiforme toujours prêt à jouer des tours aux gens, et un caractère intrépide et fureteur. Voilà bien un "Canadien"!
De plus, il s’agit du seul oiseau canadien pour lequel les anglophones emploient couramment un nom tiré des langues indigènes: « whiskey-jack ».

C'est un bel oiseau qui s'approche des gens et qui est amicale avec les autres espèces.Il est d'une belle couleur et de bonne taille.Qui habite notre pays.

Mésangeai gris du Canada

Le geai gris (mésangeai) couvre presqu'exclusivement tout le territoire canadien et demeure avec nous durant tout l'hiver. Il est facilement visible, sympathique et sociable (comme les canadiens), il nous accueille dans la nature dès qu'on y met les pieds. Il nous invite donc à faire des activités de plein air et découvrir et à protéger toutes les beautés naturelles du Canada.

A very resourceful bird; able to survive in the north and elsewhere as well as being somewhat friendly.

For all of the good reasons David Bird has highlighted, I think the Grey Jay best represents our country as a National bird!

The Gray Jay is ubiquitous across Canada and the common loon is already on our currency.

Excellent choix pour moi, bel oiseau, vit au Canada toute l'année, n'a pas peur du froid et de la neige, amical et débroiuillard !!! En plus , il est beau, comme notre pays le Canada !

Le mésangeai gris se retrouve partout au Canada en toutes saisons. Je le crois représentatif.

Always look forward to the chance to see "Canada Jays" when we visit Algonquin Park.

Any Canadian who makes a deliberate effort to walk, hike, ski or camp anywhere within the boreal forest coverage of this country has probably had an encounter with this wonderfully friendly bird. They exemplify the true spirit of Canadians as they are friendly, intelligent, inquisitive and communitive, (when called / approached). They are also a true representation of a "northern bird" as they reside here year round. How can we justify claiming a migratory bird to represent the true passion of being Canadian ?Their plumage is conservative, as would also be the case for the majority of Canadians , which to me represents a subtleness of recognition without wanting to be the parade leader.

j'aime bien cet oiseau, c'est vrai qu'il n'est pas peureux et aime bien la compagnie lors de promenade dans les bois.. Je pense qu'il n'est pas`"boully".
Il est sociable.

maybe the loon is the favourite and perhaps rightfully so but this bird is deserving of a high placement because when you see one it generally means you are up in the mountains or in the boreal forest giving one the thought of the true north strong and free

I first saw a gray jay camping in Algonquin Park. Both cute & astute, they impressed me with their capability & resourcefulness. Attributes all Canadians can aspire to!

Un oiseau au vol léger et gracieux qui dès notre arrivée au camp s'empresse de venir nous saluer! On sait pourquoi! Il apprécie le menu que je lui propose! Restes de tables, restes de viande qu'un boucher me fournit etc.

Il apprécie la compagnie des humains...Lors que je ne le vois pas dans les parages, je n'ai qu'à frapper sur sa mangeoire pour le voir apparaître. C'est un vrai compagnon en forêt.

They fly so softly. They visit cheerfully. They honour famy. They are curious. They are shy. They like winter.

I only ever saw a Gray Jay once that I recall - while we were vacationing in Gros Morne Provincial Park in Newfoundland. There were two of them and they were very cheeky and friendly, coming right on to our picnic table for food. I wasn't originally planning on voting for this bird but the essays convinced me it was the best choice!

I only ever saw a Gray Jay once that I recall - while we were vacationing in Gros Morne Provincial Park in Newfoundland. There were two of them and they were very cheeky and friendly, coming right on to our picnic table for food. I wasn't originally planning on voting for this bird but the essays convinced me it was the best choice!

Je suis d'avis que l'oiseau choisi soit présent partout au Canada et reste toute l'année ici,

Délina Bhérer

I think that this bird is a good Canadian bird because it lives up north all year.

Il est bien présent dans nos forêts..

The gray jay is an amazingly friendly bird that is found in most parts of Canada. It doesn't desert our country during the winter! Like our national animal, the beaver, it is clever and resourceful. It stores up food for the winter and is thus able to survive the months of scarcity. It's an inspiration to all Canadians!

I like this bird because he is a camp robber when ever I am in the woods camping he steels my food. Seriously, great small bird named the giant chickadee.
the bird should be the emblem of Canada.

I'm voting for this bird because it's range covers Canada in almost its entirety. I'm told it's also known as the Canada Jay or Whisky Jack.
I'm bothered by your spelling though. North of the 49th it's "Grey" not "Gray". Example: Grey Cup.
If this becomes our National Bird I'm hoping that it's spelled correctly.

Pour moi, le Mésangeai est associé à mes sorties en plein air que se soit en raquette au Mont Megantic, forêt Montmorency ou à pied dans Lanaudière.

C'est un oiseau sociable qui vient partager notre repas. Une sortie est réussie quand j'ai eu la chance de le voir.

Bonne chance

Gray (Canada)Jay epitomizes all that is Canadian. Friendly, found coast to coast to coast, does not go south or elsewhere for the winter (unlike the snowbirds!) No brainer -- whiskey jack should be our national bird!

This bird represents CANADA because of its range, disposition, intelligence, former name(CANADA JAY)and a stay home resident that refuses to migrate. a very quiet bird when it wants to be but can make all kinds of noise when it wants to make its presence known. I remember working as a timber cruiser in the boreal regions of Ontario. often at lunch time our crew would have a siesta after lunch. whoever fell asleep first would be rudely awakened by a meatbird who would pick up food leftovers thrown on their crotch by the crew. always good for a laugh! spent another 25 years as a conservation officer in the bush and always knew these birds were looking out for you. as quiet as an owl in flight.

Cet oiseau se retrouve partout au pays.

As a huge Toronto Blue Jays fan, take this as incredibly meaningful that I'm bypassing a vote for the blue jay as our national bird.
I was convinced by all the very rational essays which pointed out how much more Canadian the gray jay is.
I also didn't realize that blue jays are NOT found all across Canada like the gray jay, and for that alone it earns a nod of recognition - we Canadians know it's not easy living here year-round!

For this vote I choose the gray jay because it's a peaceful bird . It reminds me of Canada because Canada is a peaceful country.

Mésangeai du Canada

Grey Jay is cool.

Comme il est présent presque partout au Canada, il ferait un emblème très représentatif.

C'est un oiseau que l'on fréquente facilement dans les bois, qui est curieux de nous connaître et qui s'apprivoise assez facilement. Il est souvent en couple et nous suit lors de randonnées. Je connais même quelqu'un qui laisse sa porte de maison ouverte au déjeuner et des mésangeais vont manger des morceaux de céréales avec eux. Sympathique comme comportement n'est-ce pas.

Bel oiseau qui représente bien le Canada. Il est partout sur le territoire peu présent ailleurs méconnu du peuple canadien il mérite enfin notre reconnaissance et son heure de gloire.

J'aimerais que ce soit la ou le mésangeai du Canada parce que c'est un magnifique oiseau un peu méconnu il me semble, ce serait une occasion de mieux le faire connaître et le protéger au besoin qui passe l'hiver avec nous, très sociable qui ressemble beaucoup à une immense mésange que nous aimons tant. Ca semble aussi un oiseau très futé. Il n'est pas l'emblème d'une province. Finalement,j'ai vu cet oiseau tout récemment, un peu au nord de la ville de québec et ça m'a fait un tel effet !!!!! Rien à voir avec ce que je m'étais imaginer en regardant dans les guides. Les parents de cet oiseaux ont probablement vu défiler ici les premiers explorateurs qui ont fait leur entrée au pays. Ce fût vraiment une très belle découverte pour moi.

Cet oiseau magnifique a la réputation de déjouer les pièges des trappeurs, symbolisant ainsi la lutte pour le respect de la nature.

Un bel oiseau qui aime entrer en contact avec les êtres humains, qui affectionne les sommets et qui ne craint pas de passer l'hiver au Canada.

Oiseau pas farouche comme les canadiens

Quelle bonne idée!

Il est présent partout et à l'année longue au Canada.
C'est un oiseau trés sociable .

Résident à l'année, intelligent, présent sur tout le territoire et pas déjà l'emblème d'une province.

Merci à Radio-Canada d'avoir parlé de ce concours très intéressant.
Le choix n'est pas facile...

Fier représentant par son nom et fort sympathique, le Mésangeai du Canada est un emblème pour le territoire Canadien, qui s'étent des plaines froides du Nord aux nombreuses montagnes. De plus, il demeure avec nous l'hiver alors qu'il prend tout son charme dans son manteau gonflé.

The first bird that ever landed on my hand in the wild. I was thrilled.

Having read the list of comments pertaining to this lovely little bird. I feel that it truly is a complete Canadian. No province has claimed it for their own so let's all claim it collectively for Canada.


Bel oiseau observable à l'année au Canada.

I love this handsome (in an understated way) bird who visits us almost every time we go to the mountains to ski and hike. His strength and hardiness against the cold and his friendliness are what impress me. He is truly Canadian!

Je vote pour le mésangeai puisqu'il est avec nous. Toute l'année .

The fact that this bird is present in every province is a large plus. I also enjoy every encounter with this bird and look forward to seeing them. The experience of sharing food with them and having them land on you has been a big influence on our kids and getting them interested in the outdoors and preserving nature.

C'est un oiseau présent partout au Canada, et ce, tout au long de l'année. Il n'est l'emblème d'aucune province. Le mésangeai est sociable et facile à repérer contrairement à d'autres espèces.

Gray Jays rule!

parce qu'il est visible partou au Canada et qu'il y vit à l'année

oiseaux qu'on retrouve dans tout le Canada

Ce n'est pas un oiseau emblématique d'une province canadienne.
Présence à l'année.
Je trouve dommage qu'un comité d'expert n'est pas soumis une liste d'oiseaux préalable en considérant certains critères (ex: présence à l'année sur l'ensemble du Canada, n'est pas emblématique pour une province canadienne).
J'ai l'impression que le projet d'oiseau national, par sa représentation, n'est pas pris au sérieux. N'importe qui vote n'importe quoi sans connaissance particulière!
Une ornithologue amateur mais consciencieuse.

The main criteria for me is that the bird not migrate during the winter, and is primarily a Canadian bird. The Gray Jay seems to fit this description. Plus, it's handsome!

Best one!

beautiful bird

Parce qu'on le retrouve sur l'ensemble du territoire canadien.Parce qu'il y est présent à l'ensemble de l'année. Cette oiseau n'est pas un oiseau national tel que le Harfang des neiges qui est déjà l'emblême du Québec.

C'est un oiseau aux couleurs sobres,aux allures fières et amicales. Son nom ne peut-être plus caractéristique.

J'adore cet oiseau parce qu'il m'accompagne dans mes nombreuses sorties d'hiver.

C'est mon choix !

Cet oiseau vient à nous facilement, on le rencontre souvent en forêt lors de nos promenades. Si vous avez de la bouffe, à coup sûr il viendra vous saluer.

Pcq il vit à l'année au Canada à l'année, se retrouve dans les 10 provinces et 3 territoires et qu'il est intelligent, de la famille des corbeaux.

The Gray Jay (previously the Canada Jay) is a true Canadian bird. It lives here year round and is only found in Canada.

Le mésangeai du Canada ou geai gris est un oiseau que nous retrouvons d'un océan à l'autre du pays et durant les quatre saisons. J'ai été surpris en 1986 lors de mon voyage à Vancouver d'apercevoir si facilement cet oiseau à l'endroit le plus éloigné de ma résidence. C'est un oiseau plus accessible à voir que le plongeon huard et le harfang des neiges c'est une autre raison pour laquelle il constitue mon choix.

I understand that the Gray Jay winters in Canada and is a truly national bird in that it lives in every province and has a terrific personality, just like we do.

As an early wingman of D. Bird (high school), I couldn't agree more with his logic.

Oiseau extrèmement sociable, même trop parfois,, mais à la personnalité intéressante,.

Je fais des randonnées sur une base rėgulière en forêt et j'ai le plaisir d'être souvent accueilli par le mésangeai du Canada, que je nomme gėnėralement le geai gris ou la pie . Cet oiseau occupe le territoire canadien à l'année et s'avère l'un des plus agréable à côtoyer car il vient à notre rencontre en groupe pour nous surtout dans l'espoir de partager notre casse- croute ! Je vote ainsi pour cet oiseau qui est , pour moi , le digne représentant de notre forêt boréale !

J'aime beaucoup le geai gris parce qu'il n'est pas peureux.

Le geai gris vit au Canada et reste sur place même en hiver. Il a son habitat d'un bout à l'autre du pays. Et c'est un joli oiseau qui a un chant plutôt impressionnant lorsqu'il imite le geai bleu.

Il vient dans nos mangeoires. Il nous accompagne en randonnées. Cet oiseau passe l'hiver avec nous. Et sa couleur me rappelle les 4 saisons. Et, bien sûr, il mange dans nos mains!

Son chant me plaît ,un petit ricanement qui met de bonne humeur.

Il est très beau et partout au Canada.

Oiseau qui représente la paix, l'harmonie, et qui demeure au Canada l'hiver. Un vrai de vrai.

Sa trés grande distribution, peu farouche et sociable, présent à l'année.

Oiseau qui vit 12 mois par année au Canada.

Très bel oiseau grégaire et se retrouve sur tout le territoire.

Cet oiseau si amical et courageux est répandu dans l'ensemble du Canada. Comme la population canadienne, il aime passer ses hivers au pays. De plus, cet oiseau n'est l'emblème d'aucune des provinces de notre grand et beau pays. Je choisis également cet oiseau car je chéris un merveilleux souvenir à son égard. Par une journée froide du début de février, en 1992, j'ai grimpé sur le toit de mon chalet alors situé aux Ilets-Caribou, à Baie-Trinité, en région côte-nord du St-Laurent. Je devais déneiger la toiture prise sous une lourde chape blanche. Dès qu'un espace fut libéré de sa charge, un sympathique geai du Canada (c'est ainsi qu'on l'appelait chez-nous) s'est posé et m'a tenu compagnie durant mon labeur. Au moment de déguster mon goûter constitué d'un délicieux sandwich au beurre d'arachide, de noix et de fruits secs, je compris pourquoi il persistait à me tenir compagnie. Je me suis assise et j'ai calmement dirigé des bouchées vers mon compagnon. Il s'empressa d'accepter mon offre. Ce fut un partage si heureux et inattendu. Un moment précieux vécu dans une endroit magnifique ou silence et nature régnaient en maîtres. L'oiseau de nos régions boréales s'envola en me saluant d'un cri joyeux. Longue vie à cet oiseau roi de régions boréales , donc peu présent ailleurs dans le monde...

Très bel oiseau , qui reste au pays et affronte l'hiver comme nous .

C'est un oiseau sympathique et social, résilient et débrouillard. Il est autonome et passe l'hiver sur le territoire un canadien rêvé tout compte fait.

Cette espèce est partout au Canada et n'est pas reconnu comme nuisible.

c'est mon préféré !

Cet oiseaux reste au Canada l'hiver donc c'est un vrai canadien!

Of all the birds listed, this is the one bird that is truly a Canadian bird, as
it can be seen almost every day of the year in its favorite habitat.

Il a le nom de notre pays dans son nom, et il reste ici l'hiver.

Magnifique oiseau, omni-présent dans tout le Canada.

Je côtoie cet oiseau depuis mon enfance lors de mes randonnėes en forêt, l'année durant. Il est digne d'être notre emblême car il est l'un des rares oiseaux qui vit essentiellement au Canada, sur l'ensemble du territoire , durant nos 4 saisons. De plus, il est fort sympathique et facile d'approche. Il ne manque jamais une occasion pour venir nous partager une partie de notre collation ou notre repas ! Je vote ,sans hėsitation, pour le mėsangeai du Canada !

Cet oiseau n'est pas l'emblème d'une des provinces du Canada et il est très agréable à fréquenter.

The Gray Jay or whiskey Jack is a very friendly bird , like most Canadians.

On le retrouve partout au Canada tout au long de l'année. Il n'a pas peur l'humain ... Ça se rapproche de nos valeurs de securite, ouverture et accueil qui font la réputation de notre pays.

Le territoire de cet oiseau est le Canada d'un océan à l'autre et... il chante.

Oiseau présent partout sur le territoire pendant toute l'année. Très sociable et curieux.
Bel oiseau apprécié de tous ceux qui l'ont déjà observé.

On le retrouve dans tout le pays et légèrement aux États Unis.
Dans la liste soumise, je retrouve seulement 3 spécimens qui se retrouvent uniquement au Canada comme le Harfang des neiges.
Comme le harfang fait dèjà partie d'une emblème du Québec, j'ai voté pour le Mésangeai du Canada.

When stopping for lunch while in the northern forests, a gray jay often stops by and checks you out .a

Enjoyed the companionship of Whiskeyjacks during my hiking days!

Le Mésangeai du Canada est l'oiseaux nordique tout désigné pour représenter les forêts boréales canadiennes.

have a trap line near Chapleau, Ontario. The whiskey jack is a great canadian bird, plus my wife is a whiskey jack whisperer :]

Il est beau, pas peureux . c'est tout un bonheur quand il se pose sur notre main .

I love the whiskey jack. My husband is a trapper and we go to the trap cabin every chance we get. My absolute favorite time is spent feeding the whiskey jacks by hand. At the present time I have at least 5 of the beauties fighting each other for my attention and their treats. When I step out the door I give a whistle like the one you would give a pretty lady passing by. They all come to that whistle. I have spent a lot of time talking to the whiskey jacks telling the first brave one that came to my hand,what a beauty she is, calling her dolly. Some how they have all become girls. With all of the cold weather this winter, my beauties come for their first treat of the day with frosted eye down that looks like white eye brows. They listen to my voice and take their time getting food, I believe they are enjoying the warmth of my fingers. They also enjoy our feeder and have learned to eat seeds, but their favorite it pike roe. Not only do these birds trust easily, but they also show affection to each other. I can hardly wait to share this experience with my grandchildren.

c'est l'oiseau que l'on peux observer partout à travers le Canada et qui niche toute l'annee avec nous . Il porte déjà le nom de gai du Canada . Il manifeste aussi sa présence et il n'est pas craintif face à l'humain.

Je le trouve mignon et je peux le voir dans la nature.

The GRAY JAY, Canadian all the way.
He stays with us all year round
Knows how to provide for his own food
They know how to live in our land

Been thinking about this for a while, entering historical check-lists from Royal Ontario Museum of "Zoology" in 1949! The Gray Jay is listed as "Canada Jay" on the check list. This 100% made up my mind!

Il vit au Canada toute l année
Je l apercevoir partout ou je vais

I am voting for the Gray Jay because the national bird should be one that stays right here through our winters. A true Canadian bird.

I am voting for the Grey Jay (Whiskeyjack) because of its name and behaviour. It is also called the Canada Jay, so it would make an ideal national bird. It's other common name, Whiskeyjack, is from the Anishnabeg language. Wisakayjac is the trickster in Ojibway legend. While canoe tripping in Canada's Boreal Forest, it is not uncommon for this little trickster to visit your campsite.

c'est un bel oiseau qui a pour caractéristique de rester avec nous toute l'année. De plus,il n'est l'emblème d'aucune province que je sache et il appartiendrait donc en propre au pays. Il a un beau chant, n'a pas trop peur de l'humain et nous côtoie même l'hiver. À mes mangeoires, j'en aperçoit régulièrement

I would like to say I am defined by my friendliness, uninhibited curiousity, and intelligence. I would like to say I remain undeterred no matter what the weather. I would like to say i've set foot in every province and territory of this nation. But I can't. My vote is for Wesakachak- the Whiskeyjack, the Moose bird, the Canada Jay- most widely identified as the Gray Jay.

Grey Jay (Perisoreus CANADENSIS), the designation already exists, just needs to be made 'official'.

The Whisky Jack should be Canada's national bird.

The nice looking grey jay is not flamboyant, overbearing, or a nuisance. Similar to Canadians, the grey jay is somewhat conservative yet friendly and welcoming. They invite us to enjoy the nearby forests and encourage us to respect and care for our surroundings. They are found all across the country but are not common in other parts of North America or other countries.

It's a real bird's bird. It's not duck-like with webbed feet or a raptor-type, or one that migrates south for the winter. Snowy owls are already a provincial bird and extremely rare to see, Loons are only around some lakes and not so common to the whole country. Besides, It's already on a coin, and other birds just don't make the cut.

A summertime visit to cabin at Roche Lake near Kamloops, brought my young family great joy as the cute and friendly jays gently accepted peanuts from my 5 year-old daughter's outstretched fingertips. She is 17 now but still recounts "her Jays, Jaymee and Jayne"

Whiskey Jacks are not an urban bird that one sees making a mess on cars and windows. They do not attack and squabble. They are not evasive or look like they are guilty and up to something. They are more of a treat sighting when one is quiet and calm whilst out enjoying the mountains and forests. Mountain bikers, skiers, hikers can all tell of a tale involving a Whiskey Jack or two.

they're great and no one knows about them because they don't live in my back yard.

Oiseau très social, que l'on retrouve partout en forêt il est toujours là pour nous saluer peut importe l'endroit où nous nous trouvons. Il est très facile a nourrir puisqu'il dévore tous nos restants de table. Il est calme et se déplace lentement en vague. Il est très agréable à avoir aux mangeoires ou autour de nos maisons ou chalets

Le mésangeai vit à l'année sur l'ensemble du territoire Canadien. Il est intelligent, ingénieux, accueillant . Il se montre confiant envers les humains avec qui il crée des liens spontanément. Il fait parti intégrante de notre émerveillement dès qu'on entre en forêt partout au Canada.
Je crois que son côté sociable représente bien les canadiens.

Espèce présente toute l'année.
Peu farouche

J'ai choisi cet oiseau parce qu'il réside au Canada à l'année.

C'est un oiseau qui a un beau chant et qui habite le Canada toute l'année. Cet oiseau n'est d'aucune province.

La mésangeai très sociable, nous apporte tellement de joie et de bonheur durant nos excursions. Un plaisir de partager avec ce petit être si sympatique. Un excellent oiseau pour le Canada.

Habite au Canada toute l'année
Aime bien rigoler
Joueur de tour
Aime les humains.

Le Mésangai me semble le meilleur représentant du Canada, étant donné qu'il est présent d'un bout à l'autre du pays, sans migration. Son chant plutôt rieur représente bien la joie de vivre au Canada.

Son chant,sa beauté et il reste avec nous toute l'année

J'aime son crI et il reste toujours ici

Le seul oiseau a avoir Canada dans son nom anglais, son nom français et son nom scientifique (canadensis)

This is Canada's camping bud

Cet oiseau est partout au Canada et reste toute l'année ici au Canada et n'est pas l'emblème choisie par une autre province.
J'aime les oiseaux!

Il y a trois nids de geai gris dans la cours d'école. De plus, cet oiseau est présent partout dans les arbres de mon quartier (Monchâtel) à Québec. Il passe tout l'hiver au pays. Comme mes élèves le disent, c'est l'ami des humains.

Cet oiseau n'est pas l'emblème d'une autre province. Son cri ressemble à un ricanement et il reste au pays toute l'année.

Oiseau r.parti sur tout le territoire canadien. Il demeure au Canada toute l'année. Il n'est l'emblème d'aucune province ou autre territoire.

Je vote pour le geai gris car il est en tout temps au Canada et n'est pas l'emblème d'une province , c'est aussi un oiseaux peu farouche .

j'ai procédé par élimination... Mon premier choix aurait été la mésange à tête noire mais je suis également d'avis qu'un emblème de province ne devrait pas aussi être celui du Canada. Tous ces oiseaux sont magnifiques et le geai gris (plus facile à dire que mésangeai du Canada...) est un agréable compagnon des repas en camping!

J'aime bien. Très représentatif de ce vaste pays.

J'arrive de la Forêt Montmorency où je viens d'observer, samedi, mon tout premier mésangeai du Canada. WOW! Sympathique, il mangeait dans la main d'une dame en lui jetant un regard reconnaissant, voire affectueux, avant d'aller se percher plus haut.
L'oiseau semble calme et oui, intelligent. Il sait faire confiance à un (une) ami(e) des oiseaux.

Mon vote appuis cet admirable ambassadeur pour tout les raisons énumérées dans les textes précédents.
Il est pour moi important de reconnaître son adaptabilité et ça representabilité au sein du territoire qu'il occupe, dans ce cas-ci, la quasi totalité du pays, le Canada.
D'autre part, il occupe son territoire douze mois par année, n'est pas menacé, n'est pas chassé, n'est pas haï (sauf les fois qu'il surprend les campeurs négligents ainsi que quelques chasseurs qui retournent cette haine en curiosité et sensibilité fasse à leur propre négligence), il a le menu canadien, c'est-à-dire qu'il adapte son menu à son milieu, donc il est très diversifié.
Toutes les personnes qui sortent le moindrement en forêt, partout au pays, on eu l'opportunité de le rencontré. Si ce n'est pas encore fait, allez jouer dehors et recommencer encore et encore.
Son habitat est des plus diversifié et facteur à considérer, toute l'année durant. Ce qui n'est pas le cas de la plupart des autres espèces misent en candidature dans cette course.

Je suis en faveur de cet oiseau comme emblème du Canada.

Le mésangeai n’a pas été choisi par aucune autre province. (Le huard est l’oiseau de l’Ontario et le Harfang celui du Québec)

Le Mésangeai du Canada se retrouve dans toutes les provinces et territoires et ne se retrouve nulle part ailleurs dans le monde sauf pour quelques endroits plutôt restreints aux États-Unis.

Il fait face à nos hivers comme nous et ce sans se plaindre! Il ne se sauve pas dans les pays chauds d’Amérique centrale ou d’Amérique du Sud comme nos oiseaux migrateurs.

On peut l’admirer à l’année longue contrairement au Huard et au Harfang.

Il a le nom Canada dans son nom scientifique, est souvent encore appelé Canada Jay dans le Canada anglais et a également le nom Canada dans son nom français.

Un oiseau très social, il n’hésite pas à souhaiter la bienvenue à ceux et celles qui viennent sur son territoire — une caractéristique très canadienne.

Il fait partie de la famille des corvidés, une famille comprenant les oiseaux les plus intelligents sur la planète.

Plusieurs légendes amérindiennes parlent du Mésangeai du Canada.

Le Mésangeai du Canada n’est pas une espèce menacée et on ne risque pas de le perdre.
Il se retrouve majoritairement dans la forêt boréale qui couvre tout le Canada. Une forêt que nous nous devons de protéger.

C’est une espèce qui n’est pas chassée.

Ce n'est pas une espèce flamboyante et représente bien la vraie nature des Canadiens.
Le mésangeai n’est pas une espèce nuisible comme la Bernache du Canada et autres espèces.

Raisons énumérées par mon collègue passionné des oiseaux, ceci devrait être partagé à tous car je crois qu'il s'agit de très bonnes raisons:

Le mésangeai n’a pas été choisi par aucune autre province. (Le huard est l’oiseau de l’Ontario et le Harfang celui du Québec)

Le Mésangeai du Canada se retrouve dans toutes les provinces et territoires et ne se retrouve nulle part ailleurs dans le monde sauf pour quelques endroits plutôt restreints aux États-Unis.

Il fait face à nos hivers comme nous et ce sans se plaindre! Il ne se sauve pas dans les pays chauds d’Amérique centrale ou d’Amérique du Sud comme nos oiseaux migrateurs.

On peut l’admirer à l’année longue contrairement au Huard et au Harfang.

Il a le nom Canada dans son nom scientifique, est souvent encore appelé Canada Jay dans le Canada anglais et a également le nom Canada dans son nom français.

Un oiseau très social, il n’hésite pas à souhaiter la bienvenue à ceux et celles qui viennent sur son territoire — une caractéristique très canadienne.

Il fait partie de la famille des corvidés, une famille comprenant les oiseaux les plus intelligents sur la planète.

Plusieurs légendes amérindiennes parlent du Mésangeai du Canada.

Le Mésangeai du Canada n’est pas une espèce menacée et on ne risque pas de le perdre.
Il se retrouve majoritairement dans la forêt boréale qui couvre tout le Canada. Une forêt que nous nous devons de protéger.

C’est une espèce qui n’est pas chassée.

Ce n'est pas une espèce flamboyante et représente bien la vraie nature des Canadiens.
Le mésangeai n’est pas une espèce nuisible comme la Bernache du Canada et autres espèces.

On ne peut pas le confondre avec aucune autre espèce. La plupart des gens ne peuvent faire la différence entre une corneille et un corbeau.

il est dans toutes les province du Canada et n'est l'emblème d'aucune autre province aime le froid donc reste au pays a l'année. Très sociable donc bon ambassadeur des canadiens.

j'aime son cri très doux et ses couleurs de ses plumes.

I am sorry to point out that the Gray Jay is indeed a declining species as reported in BirdWatch Canada (Number 67, Spring 2014, p 8). All the more reason to vote it our national bird; perhaps this status will help its plight.

Cet oiseau reste au Canada toute l'année, ce qui devrait être une obligation pour pouvoir être "l'oiseau" du Canada. Son chant est très mélodieux et il peut être observé d'un océan a l'autre dans toutes les provinces et tout les territoires. De plus il n'est déjà pas l'oiseau officiel d'une province.

C'estbun très bel oiseau et de plus il l ne sent pas le besoin de fuire dans le sud l'hiver ......!!!!!!

Oiseau ici toute l'année, facile à repérer et d'approche, pas criard comme le gaie bleu.

A cause de son chant et de l'étendu de son territoire ainsi que le fait qu'il ne soit pas l'emblème d'une province ou territoire ce choix m'apparaît justifié.

D'accord avec la description donnée.

bel oiseau, son cri est plutôt rigolo!

Bel oiseau qui demeure à l'année au pays , qui couvre la vaste majorité de notre pays et qui actuellement n'est pas l'emblème d'une province.

Je suis d'accord avec le fait qu'il doit rester toute l'annee et ne pas migrer. J'en vois souvent lors de mes ballades en foret et j'aime cet oiseau contrairement a la corneille.

il habite le pays toute l'année et est près de l'humain

Cet oiseau demeure au Canada l'hiver. Il est beau. Il est très intelligent. Il est amicale. Iil n'est pas chassé.

Il est primordial que l'oiseau choisi ne soit pas déjà l'emblème d'une autre province !

Oiseau qui vit au Canada à l'année. Il représente la faculté d'adaptation aux différentes conditions climatiques du pays.

bel oiseau, d'une grande intelligence, qui nuche sur l'ensemble du Canada, un digne représentant de notre pays

Un oiseau joli, que j'ai rencontré souvent en promenade en forêt, été comme hiver, et à plusieurs

Sociable et audacieux, un beau symbole qui, en plus, n'est pas déjà l'emblème d'une province contrairement au Huard ou au Harfang (qui auraient autrement étés de bons choix)

Je propose le Gray Jay car il n'est pas l'emblème d'une province et il aime l'hiver

Je suis personnellement d'avis que l'emblème aviaire du Canada devrait être un oiseau qui reste au payas toute l'année et qu'il ne devrait pas être déjà l'emblème avaire d'une province. Le nom de lcet oiseau porte déjà le nom du Canada, ce qui ne fait que renforcer son identité et sa référence avec le Canada.

superbe oiseau pas souvent observe dans ma région mais dont le chant est particulier

je vote pour cet oiseau en raison de sa ténacité à demeurer au Canada 365 jours par année. Il n'est pas comme les Snowbirds qui se sauve aux premiers floçons de neige.

Occupe tout l'espace du pays.
Séjourne au pays toute l'année.
N'est pas l'emblème d'une province.

Cet oiseau demeure toute l'année au Canada. Nous ne devrions pas choisir un oiseau qui migre ou qui est le symbole d'une province.

Parce que cet oiseau reste au pays tout l'hiver

Je fais beaucoup de ski de fond l'hiver et j'apporte toujours des friandises pour les mésangeais. Ils restent avec nous tout l' hiver. Ils sont un bon exemple d'adaptation à la nordicité de notre pays.

Selon moi, il faut un oiseau qui "vit " à l'année au canada, qu'on retrouve uniquement au canada, qu'on retrouve sur tout le territoire canadien et connu de tous les canadiens!!
Je crois que l'oiseau qui remplie presque tous ces critères est le mésangeai que je connais sous le nom de geai gris mais que malheureusement je n'ai vu que 2 fois dans ma vie (50 ans) une fois au Québec et une fois en Alberta. Je ne suis pas une grande ornithologue, mais quand même assez pour avoir passé quelques jours à la pointe pelée au printemts pour les observer!
Mon second choix irait pour la mésange

Il reste au canada toute l'année et à un beau chant.

To me, the Gray Jay is the quintessential bird of the northern boreal forest. It is well-known, friendly, easily approachable, and also maybe be a species that will be impacted by global warming. Gray Jay's store food over the winter, much of being meat, fat, or other perishable foods that need to stay frozen throughout the winter as it sustains the jays. With gradually warming winters, there is some evidence that Gray Jays may not be able to store the amount of food needed to survive the winter. Thus, the Gray Jay needs conservation attention and as being recognized as Canada's National Bird, would help draw further attention to our rapidly warming planet and the urgency to help reduce global warming.

I'm convinced that the Gray Jay is the most Canadian bird.

They are smart and sociable birds just like Canadians

Magnifique oiseau présent partout au Canada durant toute l'année.
Très sociable (comme la mésange à tête noire) il vient manger dans votre main si vous êtes patient.
Moins connu que les autres corvidés, il gagne à être connu!

I love to fish, hunt and spend time in the great outdoors. Every spring and fall I head out to my camp north of Temiscaming, Quebec. The first thing I do upon my arrival is place some bread out on the hand railing. Usually with in minutes the Gray Jays have joined me on the deck. If I happen to be in side the camp when they arrive they will fly right in, land on the back of a chair and start squaking at me to give them some real food. They follow me every where I go including sitting on my pack sack while I travel to different parts of the territory. They share my lunch with me and often keep me company all day long. For this reason alone the Gray Jay gets my vote

I am basing my vote on geographical range. Based on that alone it is the "most Canadian bird" in my opinion.

Superb thief. Regularly my sandwiches are stolen. Superbly friendly cross country skiing companion.
Here in full glory:

The Gray Jay is truly a "national" bird as it is found in every province and territory of Canada. The birds survive the harshest of winters and make a living in times of strife. They share their friendship with visitors to their territory and never cease to bring a smile to the face of even the sternest individual. They are a true symbol of the Canadian wilderness and the pioneering spirit that helped to build this country.

Parce que le Mésangeai est un oiseau très représentatif de notre pays de forêts ou il vit et parce que cet oiseau est très près de ses habitants. On n'a qu'à se rappeler l'une ou l'autre de nos rencontres avec ce bel oiseau, au regard doux, qui s'approche aisément de nous pour nous quêter quelque nourriture.

Looking at the distributions of the nominated species, the Gray Jay surprisingly does seem like the only one that is predominantly Canadian unlike the other species.

The winning bird should be as uniquely Canadian as possible and no other species in the list I think match this one.


David Bird makes a compelling argument for the Gray Jay as Canada's national bird. It is almost uniquely Canadian in its range and it has a nice personality. It is an attractive bird without being flashy and it thrives in the winter. Go Gray Jay!

No essay, but... I have been giving this a lot of thought lately, and have been reading the contributor's essays. The Loon seems far too cliche, and a big NO to the Canada Goose. I leaned toward the Snowy Owl but didn't realize it was "taken" by Quebec. In 1973 I worked in the boreal forest of Alberta - I had forgotten until now how enchanted I was by this "ghostly" bird. Anyway, at this point (and I don't see it changing) I can think of no other choice than the "Canada" Jay.

I think that the Whiskey Jack ought to be the national bird because it is one of the few that stays here year round.

c'est un oiseau résident a l'année, présent dans toutes les provinces et nicheurs chez nous et un membre de la famille des corvidés, reconnu pour leur intelligence.De plus, l'adulte c'est un magnifique oiseau gris et blanc. il serait un fier représentant de notre pays.

I think the Canada Jay - or Gray Jay is a great choice as it stays in Canada all year long and doesn't leave in the winter.

The grey jay is visible wherever we travel in Canada.

cet oiseau se trouve partout au Canada

Il réside à l'année longue sur le territoire canadien...

This is a bird that seems to spend the winter with us even then it may be the bird that repésente Canada well

Good luck Gray jay :-)

JE vote pour la mésangeai du Canada après avoir fait lecture des arguments pour cet oiseau dans le bulletin du CCFA (Centre de conservation de la faune ailée `situé à Montréal)

I have chosen the Gray Jay because of it's similarities to what most of us Canadians perceive ourselves to be; friendly, hardy, resourceful, adaptable and comfortable in many different surroundings.

Il n'est pas encore emblématique d'un état ou d'une province, il est réparti sur tout le territoire, il est beau.

Pour toutes les bonnes raisons mentionnées, et les qualités sympathiques de cette espèce, je vote pour le Mésangeai du Canada.

Je crois que cet oiseau est le plus représentattif pour le canada,

il est partout dans ce pays et n'est l'emblème d'ancune province ou territoire.

Every winter for many years had the same Gray Jay come to visit me .He would land on my head or my hand to get a treat.They are very smart and friendly birds.Just like a Canadian.

C'est à mon avis le meilleur choix

c'est un oiseau qui est présent partout au Canada et qui est peu connu par la plupart des gens. La rencontre du mésangeai est toujours mémorable car l'oiseau est très familier et peu farouche.

Oiseau présent partout au Canada, peu farouche, facile à observer, nicheur et résident à l'année

Parce qu'il est résident canadien !

Canadians are proud of their wilderness. We must continue to boast about, boost and protect this wilderness. I can think of no other bird found across Canada that is more emblematic of wilderness. The Gray Jay (Canada Jay) is truly a bird of our remote, natural areas; you won't find it in the cities. And to me that makes it more suitable as a Canadian emblem. You must venture out to see it...into our National and Provincial parks, our coastal and Boreal forests, our high mountains, our ski areas (winter or summer), and our vast sub-Arctic expanse. Let our National Bird be a species that will draw our citizens, as well as our foreign visitors, out to these diverse and beautiful habitats. We will all then be more protective of our natural treasures.

Chantal et Serge félicite Ginette pour son judicieux choix! De très bons arguments.

This is just the bird to represent Canada. The person who wrote the essay said it all--but had one thing wrong. This extremely friendly and companionable bird is found in the boreal forests of New Hampshire and Vermont as I have witnessed, so it must be found in other northern states as well. However, we birders all know the Gray Jays are loyal citizens of our northern neighbor, Canada. There may be more colorful choices (Spruce Grouse, Pine Grosbeak) or one with a more suitable name (Canada Warbler), but let the Gray Jay win!

mésangai du canada = Canada.

Having read the description of the Gray Jay on this website, I feel it qualifies best to be called Canada's national bird.

Propre au Canada ou à tout le territoire canadien, il n'est pas migrateur et il n'est pas déjà l'oiseau national d'une province.

The Whiskey Jack is legendary for Canadians, and especially reminds us of the Canadian wilderness and the north. I would be proud as a Canadian to have this bird as our national 'ambassador' to the world. The Gray Jay makes a lot of sense as Canada's national bird, in part because it has a friendly yet gentle character, is well known, has a Canadian range, enjoys winter (or at least has a good strategy for dealing with it), and has not already been chosen by a province or territory (unlike the chickadee, loon, snowy owl or raven, which are also good choices but already taken). What kind of political message would it send if the national bird were the same as Ontario's bird? Or Quebec's? There are so many wonderful birds in this country, we don't need to duplicate. If you have a chance, go visit the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, and go to the beautiful Birds gallery where you will see all the provincial and territorial birds on display. But don't pick one of them for national bird, please. Gray Jay for Canada - yay!

I have spent many hours in the bush and have enjoyed the company of many Whiskeyes Jacks. I have fed them from my hands while I was making a meal.
There had never been a time I have not enjoyed their company, much like many Canadian friends, their company is welcomed anytime.
And as Canadian people we are a very hardy species to which the Whiskey Jack is also extremely hardy.
The Whiskey Jack does not have a spectacular plumage and fits into its evironment very well, much like most Canadians we don't really want to be in the spot light.

The gray jay is a feisty, friendly bird and if you ever venture into the northern parks, wilderness, you will meet this fun bird.

Le Mésangeai du Canada est un oiseau dont la répartition mondiale est presque entièrement au Canada, d'un océan à l'autre. Il y est présent aussi à l'année longue, et doit s'adapter autant aux chaleurs de l'été qu'aux froids hivernaux.

I have encountered these marvelous birds as we hike and snowshoe in the alpine forests. Very friendly and curious birds. Lovely to meet up with on the trail. Since they store their food, one must be mindful not to share inappropriate food so that their larders are empty when they need the food in the winter.

I totally agree with the points made in the essay by David M. Bird of McGill (please read it). The Gray Jay (it was known as the Canada Jay when I was growing up and of course as the Whiskey Jack)is a truly Canadian bird staying with us through our winters and visiting us in its friendly fashion when we venture into the woods.

Il est indigène presque exclusivement du Canada contrairement à certains autres.

Il est présent partout au Canada.

My first encounter with a gray jay was when I put out some frozen cheese to the feed the fox which had been coming by every day. And suddenly there was this beautiful gray and white bird which I had never seen before! I started putting out food regularly and they would come, if there was no food there they would look in my window. As soon as I went out they would fly up to the wire, I would put the food down, turn my back and in they would come. I have had 3 regularly every winter since we moved to the area at the end of 2008, along with numerous other beautiful species. Thank God for the beauty He has created.

Partout dans le Canada et peu présent ailleurs.

To me the songs of birds is the sweetest music to my ears. The Gray Canada Jay is around us the most so they have my vote for Canada's national bird.

The gray jay flies and nests throughout the Okanagan. I have fed these well-mannered, tame, and exemplary birds. They remind me of Canadian people. They are not too flashy, not too "in your face", very well-mannered, and they are very polite. There have been many occasions when one will step back and let his/her "friend" eat out of my hand before he/she does. Very Canadian. They hang back in the trees and check me out before actually getting up the nerve to land beside me. Then, they will bob and weave timidly, finally give me eye contact, take a deep breath and land on my open hand in order to eat what I'm offering. They never swarm me, but gently come quietly one by one. So Canadian. Yes, this is the bird we need to represent Canada.

David Bird said it all!

The choice for Canada's National Bird should absolutely be based on an educated discussion. David M. Bird's essay is right on the mark. He highlighted all of the relevant considerations when selecting a bird to represent Canada. What prompted me to choose the Gray Jay over my other top choices is the fact that the bird is a year long resident and found all over Canada. This is much more representative of our country than a bird that is only found in certain parts of Canada, or is only present at certain times of the year.
Do we really want to have a national bird that doesn't stick around during the winter months? I sure don't!

I can't say it any better than Mr. David M. Bird (PhD, Emeritus Professor of Ornithology, McGill University). He expressed precisely what I was thinking, before I even read his essay. Our national bird should represent each and every Canadian. I can't think of a more Canadian bird than the gray jay. I also agree that there should be intelligent discussion on the subject, rather than a popularity contest.

Je vote pour le mésangeai du Canada. C'est un oiseau qui est présent dans tout le territoire canadien. De plus, il y vit à l'année. C'est un oiseau qui est bien adapté au climat du pays. Il est à la fois opportuniste (se nourrit de différentes sources, vole la nourriture des humains si nécessaire), intelligent (période de reproduction adapté au climat, cache sa nourriture) et amical (peut s'approcher pour se faire voir sans être agressif) tout comme nous, Canadiens! C'est pourquoi je vote pour cet oiseau qui représente plusieurs caractéristiques du pays en une espèce!

The obvious choice for national bird, Dr. Bird said, is the gray jay.

It is not resplendent like a peacock (the national bird of India), or imposing like the Andean condor (the national bird of Bolivia), or colourful like the crimson sunbird (the national bird of Singapore.)

It is grey. Isn’t that rather fitting? asks Dr. Bird. “Aren’t Canadians accused of being a bland boring people?”

But the gray jay, sometimes called the whiskey jack, is also one of the smartest birds on the planet, he said. And it is friendly. Skiers who come across them on trails through the country’s woodlands find them gently petitioning for food.

The gray jay’s French name is le Mésangeai du Canada.

It lives in every province and territory of Canada, but hardly at all in the United States, Dr. Bird said. It is not an endangered species, so Canada would not risk finding itself birdless in the near future. It is not a target of hunters, so it is not going to end up on Canadian dinner plates.

“It is also a very hardy bird. It is adapted for living in very cold regions, like we Canadians,” he said. And it does not migrate. “Not all Canadians do the snowbird thing. A lot of us love the snow and love enjoying our winters.”

The gray jay is a resident of Canada’s boreal forests, which are under environmental pressure, Dr. Bird said. “Having this as our official bird, I think it will help get Canadians to make the effort to go to the boreal forest, appreciate it, and want to save it,” he said.

-Galloway, Gloria "Race is on to pick the national bird of Canada." The Globe and Mail 22 Jan. 2015

I've run into these resourceful, intelligent birds on many a trip into the Rockies and Cascades mountain ranges. They are also tough and friendly. The Whiskey Jack stays through winter - which is a very Canadian thing to do!

I think that the Grey Jay has a personality that really represents the Canadian character. It is clever, friendly, humerous, resourceful and outgoing. It lives all across the country and is not currently a provincial bird nor is it represented on our currency.

Grey Jays are friendly, hardy, resourceful and stay for the whole winter!

Beautiful bird!!

Now that I have learned more about the Gray Jay, I feel that this bird is one that Canadians could be proud to be represented by., with its understated sociability, intelligence and broad range. The fact that it does not migrate elsewhere makes yet a stronger argument for choosing it as our national bird, resilient, hardy and, in my opinion, admirable. More of us should know this agreeable bird, a name change back to Canada Jay would be helpful.

The Gray Jay is a hardy, intelligent and communal bird of boreal forest. It represents Canadian character and identity in all those ways.

I have fond memories of skiing down a trail called "Whiskey Jack" on Whistler Mountain, and seeing Whiskey Jacks darting around in the trees! It was the quintessential Canadian scene! Whiskey Jacks are found Canada-wide, and are pretty much unique to Canada. They are whimsical and friendly, hardy and respectful, just like Canadians.

It is important to note Prof. David Bird's comments about their wide-spread habitat in boreal forests which are vulnerable to industry exploitation. If Whiskey Jacks were a protected National Bird, then perhaps the habitats they dwell in would, in turn, also be protected.

The chosen bird should not already have official status in other provinces, ruling out the Common Loon (Ontario) and the Snowy Owl (Quebec). And Canada Geese are so over-done as the cliche Canadian icon! Whiskey Jacks are the perfect choice!

I chose it because it is a solely Canadian. Also I like the name "Whiskey Jack".

An obvious choice, with no hesitation

J'ai toujours aimé ces "pies de lunch" qui agrémente souvent nos sorties de camping que ce soit au Québec ou au Nouveau-Brunswick d'où je viens.

Le mésangeai du Canada a toutes les qualités pour bien nous représenter.

I vote for this bird because it is very curious and it comes to see you very often in the forest. It is also different from the other birds so that makes him easy to recognize.

The Whiskey Jack is a true Canadian bird species. It can be found in every province and territory in Canada and their range only extends slightly in to our southern neighbours backyard. Unlike the Canadian Goose and the Common Loon, the Whiskey Jack does not migrate south when winter arrives. They are able to stay for the winter months because they are able to glue together conifer seeds with their saliva and store them for use when other foods are scarce.

I think the Gray Jay should be our national bird because they live in Canada year round. They also are really close to where we live and they are super friendly.

Next reason why I think they should be our national bird is because they are almost all over Canada, which means that when you travel across Canada you will still see them. It's pretty easy to identify them because they are nice and small but still not too small, and of corse they are grey with a long back wing. There is also quite a few of them, a decent amount.
It is also a great bird to pick because it is not already a provincial bird.

To make sure that you totally agree with me, I'm going to tell you a bit more about the Gray Jay. so first, did you know that they store food for the winter, they also are a song bird too.

Thats why I think the Gray Jay should be our national bird!

The gray jay/Whiskey jack live all year-round in Canada and there are not very many in the US,so its more special to Canada. They are easy to identify because of their grayish blue feathers. It's extremely friendly to people! They are not a hunted species,so there's lot's of them! They are also very cute because of their eyes.

You should vote for the gray jay because it is in a good chunk of Canada. Also, it's a friendly bird, so you can get up close enough to see it.

It's a good bird because it has good colours for spotting.

i chose the grey jay because it lives all year long in is super friendly. it stores food all winter. it is the nicest bird in Canada. it lives in the boreal forest. it is very trust worthy. it eats out of your hand. it is a very elegant bird

I feel that we should pick the whiskey jack because it stay's in Calgary and Canada year round and it is friendly to humans. This bird has not been chosen for a provincial bird yet. Also, this bird does not do any damage to peoples gardens un-like some other birds.

Il est vraiment représentatif de notre pays.

Le mesangerais corespond bien a notre façon de vivre au Canada.....

The Gray Jay is what so many of the US Birders go to Canada to see. Among others it is legendary. The fact is, they are friendly birds. Strange as that may seem, but I once had one perch on my mitten. I think it is totally and completely appropriate to have the Gray Jay as the official bird of Canada. They are beautiful, like Canada, and widespread. I think the Gray Jay should win this race, hands down!

J'ai toujours aimé le mésangeai du Canada depuis ma tendre enfance. Lorsque j'allais au camp souvent il venait voler notre nourriture sur notre poêle.
Cette image m'est toujours restée.

The Gray Jay can be found in each province and stay in Canada all year round.

A very Canadian bird!

Belle distribution. Espèce sympatique.

I like the gray jay as a national bird. It would be nice to change the name to Canada Jay. It is very fun to see a Gray Jay come to an outdoor bbq.

Best choice

Growing up in Northern Ontario, I was often met by friendly Whiskey Jacks when my family and I were out ice fishing. They are such delightful tame birds and cover a wide geographical range.

I have fraternized with grey jays in Algonquin Park and enjoyed their friendly demeanour as they perched eating peanuts in the palm of my hand. My dad used to talk about how, when he was working in fire lookout towers in the northern forests, the grey jays used to keep him company. I think the grey jay is a fine, elegant bird. I love the fact that it is not common in the U.S. (as is for example the red tailed hawk) and that it is not already a provincial national bird. The bird is endemic right across Canada, too. I think it would make an excellent national bird for Canada, and would draw attention to our beautiful boreal forests, perhaps even enticing Canadians to visit them to see the bird.

Chant agréable. De bonne compagnie. Présent dans toutes les provinces et territoires. Pas en danger. N'est pas l'emblème d'aucune province ou territoire. Porte un nom vraiment «canadien».

Bonne journée.

Michel Hébert

Cet espèce reste avec nous été comme hiver de plus, elle est présente partout au Canada et n'est pas menacée.

-Le mésangeai n’a pas été choisi par aucune autre province.
-Le Mésangeai du Canada se retrouve dans toutes les provinces et territoires et ne se retrouve nulle part ailleurs dans le monde sauf pour quelques endroits plutôt restreints aux États-Unis.
-Il fait face à nos hivers en demeurant au pays.
-Il a le nom Canada dans son nom scientifique, est souvent encore appelé Canada Jay dans le Canada anglais et a également le nom Canada dans son nom français.
-Un oiseau très social, il n’hésite pas à souhaiter la bienvenue à ceux et celles qui viennent sur son territoire — une caractéristique très canadienne.
-Il fait partie de la famille des corvidés, une famille comprenant les oiseaux les plus intelligents sur la planète.
-Plusieurs légendes amérindiennes parlent du Mésangeai du Canada.
-Le Mésangeai du Canada n’est pas une espèce menacée et on ne risque pas de le perdre.
-Il se retrouve majoritairement dans la forêt boréale qui couvre tout le Canada. Une forêt que nous nous devons de protéger.
-C’est une espèce qui n’est pas chassée.
-Le mésangeai n’est pas une espèce nuisible.
-On ne peut pas le confondre avec aucune autre espèce.

I am voting as recommended by the CCFA in Montréal (Québec)

For me he is an elegant bird

Cet oiseau porte le mot ANGE et je me sens aux anges a chacune de nos rencontres.

Il porte le nom CANADA dans les deux langues.

Facile d'approche.

I voted for the Gray Jay because
1. It stays in Canada year round
2. It nests in the winter
3. It's common in most areas in Canada
4. It's a resiliant little bird!!

The Gray jay hasn't already been chosen by any Canadian province or Territory as its emblem bird but is found in every one of them. It is not found elsewhere in the world except for a few places in the USA. It remains in Canada all year, is friendly, smart and doen't cause any damage to agriculture and gardens. It is not a threatened specie.

il n'a pas peur du froid

The Gray Jay is mostly found in Canada and is not currently the official bird for any provinces or territories making it eligible for Canada's national bird.

I vote for the gray jay because:
1 It lives all year long in Calgary.
2 It is not so big.
3 It lives around the boreal forest and we are learning about the boreal forest.
4 It is one of the friendly birds.
5 It is smart.
6 It is cute.

I like the gray jay because it is also known as the Canadian jay.
I also like the blue jay because the blue jay is kind of a gray jay because the blue is kind of a grayish blue and they are both jays.

The Gray Jay is an excellent choice for the national bird of Canada, being found all across the country. They are friendly, resourceful and intelligent and if we could go back to calling them the Canada Jay, that would be even better.

The Canada Jay is not a particularly attractive- looking bird. Otherwise it fits all pertinent criteria very well.

The Whiskey Jack should be our National bird, they are friendly, just like the Canadian people and the Loon already has the coin. M

I would like to vote for the gray jay because it looks very pretty and it lives in Canada all the time. The gray jay has graceful flying skills. That is why I vote for the gray jay to be Canada's national bird.

The main criteria I had established for myself in order to choose the National Bird of Canada was that it not be endangered, live all year-round in Canada, be majestic and not be a provincial or common bird. My instinctive first choice was the Snowy Owl until I discovered that it was the Provincial Bird of Québec.

After reading article written by David M. Bird, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Ornithology, McGill University in the Globe & Mail, I realized that the Grey Jay aka Canada Jay or whiskey jack that this little gray coloured bird not only fit all my criteria but then some!

Thank you for allowing me to participate in choosing the National Bird of Canada. I am so thrilled.

May the best bird win!

Friendly, outgoing, and pretty. How Canadian! ;)

I pick the Gray Jay over the Loon because the stay here all year round.

The whiskey jack is the only contender whose range is contained largely within Canada. Also, they are very intelligent and have great personalities.

Great-grandparents were Canadian and loved the bird.

They are very friendly in the bush.

This is my 'video essay':

Love the fact that it is only Canadian...

The Gray Jay has my vote, based on what I've read so far. I worry though that a decision could be made without input from a great number of Canadians. I just read about the initiative in the local paper and was thrilled to learn about this delightful bird. Because I don't see how there could be a really democratic vote from all interested Canadians I tend to agree with the writer who suggested the decision would be better made by well-informed ornithologists. That is not to say this isn't a worthwhile exercise for educating people who will take the time to read all about the potential national birds.

I really like the grey jays . They are around our cabin every time we go there. We hold out our hands with bread crumbs and they land on our hands and look at us, grab the crumbs and fly away. They are very gentle.

The gray jay is a sociable and friendly bird it is not already a Provincial, National, or Territorial bird. The loon and snowy owl already are.And I LOVE nature and birds and the gray jay is probably the friendlyest bird ever!!! I Really hope you all vote for the gray (A.K.A Canada jay)

:) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

I grew up in Elk Lake in Northern Ontario. The Gray Jay (WhiskeyJack-MeatBird) was the most common bird at our suet balls that we put out for them and they used to "talk" to me every morning as I set out for school often in extremely cold weather. They were very friendly and would tell us when the suet balls were getting los. We would get suet free from the local grocery store. The only time I have seen a Gray Jay in Owen Sound is when the weather is unusually cold in Northern Ontario but they don't fly to the sunny climes in winter. When I see a Gray Jay at one of my feeders it brings back lovely memories of my Mother making up the suet ball and hanging them in our birch tree.
I think it qualifies as our National bird because of its resiliency its happy disposition and its willingness to adapt to its environment for survival.

Everything said/listed WHAT a Canadian IS.
Yes, the loon is lovely, and has a lovely melody. When you hear it up clost on a lake you hear the full range of it's call. the lovely personality list, of the Gray Jay.

The Gray jay is one of the birds named that is represented across our country so I thought it would be fitting.

I have very fond memories of the first time I met the Whisky Jack. A very dear old friend had just walked me to a few of the beautiful lakes in Revelstoke and after bringing me out exhausted (I was new to mountain hiking) she sat me down to share our lunch with a medley of cheeky, friendly, bold little guys that made me forget my muscle aches. I think they do deserve to be our national bird!

The gray jay enchanted me in childhood. It meant we were out of the city; in a kind of border land between wilderness and society. They are clever, and you'd swear they have a sense of humour. They mix with people, yet seem elusive too. A wonderful bird.

The Gray Jay is a truly northern bird, found right across the country and in all the provinces. It is friendly, cheerful, resourceful and intelligent. A worthy candidate for our national bird.

David Bird's 15 points for the Grey Jay are all good and valid. Of all the candidates, The Grey Jay is the best, however, I would like to see it called the "Grey Jay." There is no reason on earth why the Canadian National Bird should have its name spelled in the American way!!

This is hardly and essay but the Gray Jay is also known as the Canada Jay in Roger Tory Peterson's Field Guide which further states the latin name to be 'perisorius canadensis'. If this information is still current,and I am aware that nomenclatures are updated frequently, perhaps it would help the voters to be aware of this decidedly Canadian named bird (which does NOT winter in the southern USA in some very drab and boring winter colours, not looking at all like the striking loon many people in Canada have seen).

The Gray Jay must stay.

The whiskey jack is very clever and will remind you to store your food and waste or you'll be left to clean up after he's rummaged through it.

If the Gray Jay's name could be changed back to the Canadian Jay, that would be perfect. Someone else has done the research and found this Jay does not migrate south and is common in most areas.

A crow will never win, so a bird related to crows is the next best thing.

An easy choice when many iconic birds are already provincial representatives.

The Grey Jay is very friendly around people, not like other birds

The Grey Jay is a very freindly,intelligent and good looking. Takes his food from your hand very politely, the same way Canadians do.

The whisky jack is the best choice, it's completely Canadian.

Canadians are ingenius... we need a bird that represents that. As well as one that teaches people about the north instead of showing them something they already think they know.

I like the Gray Jay: it's a somewhat drab, understated, sociable-friendly, moderately quite bird, ubiquitous (at least in the forest), sometimes known as Canada Jay or Whiskey Jack (provocative)- has an amicable but strong character, which is my idea of the stereotypical Canadian, something I admire - a mix of a Tommy Douglas, Nellie McClung, Peter Gzowski, Silken Laumann, Pierre Trudeau, Terry Fox, Jennifer Jones, Wayne Gretzky cross (although its name is spelled the American way with the "a", because most of the ornithologists who name birds are American) - it eats only seeds and berries, sometimes right out of your hand.

Le Mésangeai du Canada est un ambassadeur né.

Avant d'observer les oiseaux de manière assidue, je pouvais l'observer lors de pique-niques familiaux dans le Parc National de la Mauricie (Province de Québec). Pas besoin de jumelles ou de lunette d'approche pour l'observer à loisir. Dès qu'on déballait le lunch, cet oiseau charmant s'invitait parmi nous.

Il est vrai toutefois qu'on ne peut l'observer à volonté, n'importe où en ville. Toutefois, l'espèce sort de son aire de répartition habituelle et condescends à venir nous voir en ville lors d'années de dispersions.

J'ai aussi observé cette espèce lors d'un voyage à Jasper. Cet oiseau est présent à la grandeur de notre beau pays.

Tout récemment, j'animais une sortie du COTR (Club d'ornithologie de Trois-Rivières) et le but de notre sortie était d'observer le Mésangeai du Canada. Le taux de réussite de cette sortie est de 99.9%.

Lors de cette sortie du club, des touristes japonais se trouvaient dans le parc, comme c'est souvent le cas l'automne. Lorsqu'ils ont vu les mésangeais s'inviter à notre lunch, ils ont été séduits, et quelques minutes plus tard, les mésangeais allaient aussi chercher dans leurs mains, les morceaux de fromage (nous en avions une bonne provision...) dont ils raffolent. Ces touristes japonais, de même que leurs enfants, conserveront un souvenir impérissable de cette belle journée. D'autant plus qu'ils nous ont demandé de les photographier avec les mésangeais dans leur main.

C'est donc la raison pour laquelle je pense que le Mésangeai du Canada est un ambassadeur né, d'autant plus que le mot Canada fait partie de leur nom.

If well respected world renowned Ornithologist Dr. David Bird thinks it is the wisest choice, then that is good enough for me. I vote the Gray Jay aka Canada Jay!

I think the Gray Jay is very cool. Great choice.

Just read the article by David Bly in the Times Colonist from Jan 31. I agree that we should have a bird with widespread Canadian habitat with durability for our winters. I have seen some of these and would second the idea that the name be changed back to the Canada Jay as well as having it be our national bird.

Intelligent, friendly, here year-round, and sings about Canada!

But please, lets drop the American 'Gray Jay' and go back to our own Canada Jay.

Well, I see it all the time when I'm skiing. As well, I often see it when I'm driving through the mountains. And Canada is famous for its rye why not?

Read an excellent article regarding these guys. Have my vote!

I would recommend that the Gray's name be changed back to "Canada jay"

i agree that our national bird should be the grey jay because it is truly a canadian bird and especially because it is NOT a "snowbird" like so many of us !!

I like the blog about the Jay. Esp. as it can only be found in Canada. The Snowy Owl and the Loon are already taken, being Provincial birds.

Does anyone have a specimen we can scan like we are doing for insects at ?

Gray Jay on a gray day, came to take my crust away
Friendly critter, in a frosty winter
Sitting on the shoulder of my big wool sweater

Smarter than me, how can that be?
Never in a rush, I know it isnt much
But he just got me to take care of his lunch

(sigh...sorry I tried hahaha!)

For all reasons already identified, as well the Grey jay is a very friendly bird and interacts with people,(like Canadians) espeacilly when being feed! :)

The 'trusting nature' and range covering almost all of the country are persuasive features.

Gray Jays seem very 'Canadian' with their wide distribution and friendly nature.

I remember many years ago when I was new to Canada that I belonged to a ski club and went skiing at Whistler. I was a student at UBC and didn't have much money so it was economical to make my own bag lunch. I lost it to the whiskey jacks until I found a way to outwit them. It was lovely to sit in the sun and watch them checking us out and cadging for food and they were so lively and cheerful you could hardly resist sharing.

Hard to choose a favourite, but mine falls between the snowy owl & the whiskey jack. The northern flicker is also an absolutely beautiful bird. I would have to choose the Whiskey Jack, or grey jay, because of it's friendliness. They will often land on your hand to be fed. Somehow their approachability just seems...Canadian!

The Gray Jay rules!

I think Prof. Bird has made many compelling arguments. My preference as a name would be the Whiskey jack, second choice Canada jay. Whiskey Jack would be a tribute to our aboriginal compatriots as the name appears to be derived from the Cree for a mischievous spirit in folklore. Early in my career I spent many months working as a geologist and geological assistant in the northern parts of provinces from Newfoundland west to Saskatchewan. Almost invariably as you sat down for lunch a whiskey jack would appear, waiting for a few crumbs. On one occasion, I was working on a map in my tent and a whiskey jack came right inside, perched on the table as I was drawing. Other occasions I saw them entering our kitchen tent poke their beaks into a potatoes and fly off with them.

Whiskey Jacks are the most friendly bird around, in many ways they are like us Canadians. They're loved by hikers and loggers alike, and whenever one lands on my hand I feel like a Disney princess.

Excellent choice!

I like the fact that the bird is friendly, but also a stay at home bird.

Definitely an all round the Gray Jay.

Gray Jay is a perfect choice for the Canada bird...

..because it stays here year round and is found in nearly all of Canada and not so much in the rest of North America. Also formerly known as the Canada Jay. Friendly, and not too showy. I think it's a fit.

I like the fact that this bird is found across most of Canada. It is also a good thing that it is not already a Provincial bird.

A very Canadian bird and a terrific nominee. I also love its name - Wiskey Jack.

We think the choice is a good one, another choice may have been the indigo bunting because its song sounds like oh Canada, Canada Canada.

I support the action to get this bird renamed the Canada Jay. My husband, now dead, was an avid birder and he was very disappointed when they renamed the bird years ago. It is a most clever and delightful bird and much more a representative of Canada than some raptor or goose.

Entirely appropriate for Canada, the Grey Jay/Whisky Jack should be chosen to represent our country.

A sneaky bird, always willing to swoop down and steal whatever I'm eating right out of my hands, but they do it so gracefully that I do not care

I vote for the Gray Jay/Whiskey Jack because it ranges all across Canada and is a permanent resident. We love these bold camp robbers in and around Strathcona Park.

It covers amazing versatility in addressing the broadest issues of the greatest number of provinces.

The original name was Canada Jay and the only one I have seen was in Canada

The Gray Jay or Whisky Jack is the friendliest bird I can think of. it is always around to keep you company in our peaceful forests and always willing to share your sandwich lol. They can warn you of danger or join you in a campfire song. They are true Canadian always willing to join you in your outdoor kitchen for a story and a meal.

The birds are all beautiful and I love them all. My back yard is a haven for the birds, particularly in the winter. However I have voted for the Grey Jay or as we call them Whiskey Jack. They are friendly, they follow along from tree to tree as I take my daily walk. My son is a hunter and several follow him every time he is in the woods.

The Grey Jay and Snowy Owl are truly Canadian birds, however, the Snowy Owl lives in northern areas more than southern whereas the Grey Jay lives among us.

Anyone who has even spent time in the woods and been visited my these magnificent bird would know that this bird is Canadian--also unique in that it had not already been claimed as a provincial bird. I, personally, think provincial birds should be excluded from this contest.

So many choices but the Whiskey jack holds special significance for me. They won my love many years ago with their trust. A day is always brightened by their occasional visits to our little spread in Cape Breton.

I am sold! At first I was torn between the common loon and the snowy owl, but as they are both already provincial birds, I think this makes more sense. I do like that it's character captures a lot of our Canadian essence and that it stays in Canada year-round.

There is no other bird worthy to represent Canada, none so distinctively Canadian (without negative connotations). I've been comparing more bird details than ever before in my lifetime, and I've narrowed my choice from (my original) three. Two weren't on any of the lists I found here. But our gray jay, our Canada Jay, is truly the only perfect choice.

Snowshoeing on the north shore mountains that were covered with deep white snow surrounded by stands of snow covered cedars against a clear blue sky you can't imagine anything more beautiful that truly takes your breath away. Then you pause and hear silence just your breath exhaling. The views and the silence make you feel this is where you belong surrounded by Mother Nature not down the mountain living in the insanity of the city and the chaos. You take deep breathes and swear your lungs are going to burst from the fresh air that almost feels foreign. You think how could anything be more beautiful and couldn't get any better when suddenly the quiet is broken by the sound of a Whiskey Jack calling hello; it takes a few moments and a few more calls but then you spot it sitting high in a tree. You say hi back the and Whisky tilts his head and says I 've' been watching you. Then you realize the silence was an illusion and how could you not have heard the bustling community of the wildlife; the birds and other animals. You had noticed prints of animals as you walked ; foot prints of the deer, rabbit and Douglas squirrels but did not realizie that the rustling and snow falling from boughs was the birds maneuvering to keep an eye on you. The Whiskey jack knew where you were at all times from his perch high in the trees, but it took the Whisky Jack to wake you up and tell you they were there and you shouldn't miss a chance to meet them. The Whiskey Jack opened your eyes and ears and made you realize you were in another bustling community one that is not silent but one that moves and breaths in stealth. If you trample through this community or have your ears full of man made noises or don't look up and take in deep breaths you walk out and miss all that Mother Nature had offered. You thank the Whiskey Jack for showing you a new perspective and new appreciation. You bid farewell to the Whiskey jack and tell him it's time to turn around. You pause for a moment and the Whiskey Jack tilts his head one last time as if waiting; you ask the Whiskey Jack to keep an eye ! And promise you will be back.

They're friendly fun loving birds. They love to meet new people.

It is widespread in Canada and lives here year round.

I was torn between these guys and loons, but I feel like whiskey jacks are often under rated, much like Canadians at times.

Iconic bird and the symbol of the north, camping and Canada's early, pioneering days along with the Beaver. As well, it is friendly, inquisitive and cheerful plus it is found in every province.

I'm a logger and have spent a lot of my time in the Canadian wilderness. It was a common thing to have a whiskey jack come to visit when you stopped to eat lunch in the bush. They were friendly and curious and always brought a smile to your face, even in the worst of weather. They are certainly a fitting bird to represent Canada.

I was 5 years old and camping in northern Ontario for my first time. My mom put bread on the peak of my hat and the whiskey jack would land on my hat and eat the bread. I never forgot that!! It was so cool!!

I believe that the "Canada" Gray Jay is a excellent choice to be Canada's National Bird.
The Gray Jay has a broad geographic range across Canada.
The Gray Jay has a tenacity for survival through our often times harsh winters.
The Gray Jay has a jovial and sometimes mischievious personality.
All of the above makes the Gray Jay an ideal choice to represent
Canadians as its National Bird

The Grey Jay is friendly, intelligent, with a great sense of humor, like many Canadians I know.

To follow

I wanted, as our national bird, one that was fairly exclusive to Canada. But the Grey Jay has so many other good qualities. I agree with David Bird's essay, and many others have stated similar arguments.

Love the Gray Jay and how they have such a historical connection with First Nations folk and woodsmen

This bird lives all across Canada is one of the few birds that lives in Canada all year.

Gray Jay all the way!

After a day of snowmobiling and ice fishing up near Matachewan , we built a fire and were roasting wieners for hot dogs a grey jay sat on my mitt and ate 1/2 of the wiener-- they clustered around our site eating snacks held aloft was great experience

It is a vote that Ive been searching and studying about for along time, so i would like this to be our national bird. This is what I know.

A member of the corvid family, arguably the smartest bird on the planet.

Extremely friendly towards humans, like all canadians, often found panhandling
on cross-country ski trails.

It is not an endangered species and thus, and not at risk of disappearing.

Stays in Canada for along time

found in all thirteen provinces territories

thanks for reading


The deceptively cute Gray Jay is one of the most intrepid birds in North America, living in northern forests year-round and rearing chicks in the dark of winter. Highly curious and always on the lookout for food, Gray Jays eat just about anything, from berries to small animals. They may even land on your hand to grab a raisin or peanut. During summer they hoard food in trees to sustain themselves through bleak winters.

And I love it

The Gray Jay is great! It is found in all 13 provinces and territories. It is extremely friendly to humans. It is also a known figure in First Nations folklore, which we know many aboriginals in Canada will like. It is not an endangered species so no real risk of disappearing. The Gray Jay is not an official bird species for any of the 10 provinces and recognized territories, nor any other country. Therefore, it is a great bird for Canada and it looks amazing!

The reason why I would like to vote for the Gray jay is because it's a friendly bird that can be found mostly in Canada so..... Why not have it as a national bird!?! Its one friendly bird and it has a beautiful color to it! Did you know the Gray jay likes the cold clement and is not endangered. And stays all year long and it's not as obnoxious as the Canada goose! And not like the raven and the crow all Canadians can all tell the difference.... And that's why I vote for the Gray jay as our Canadian bird!

The Gray Jay, AKA Canada Jay, is the Only Bird that stays in Canada and doesn't migrate south in the winter and Breeds there baby's in the winter.
It could be found in Canada and sometimes in the US.
I think this bird should be our national bird because it's is strong, like our country.

Gray Jays are the only bird present all year around throughout Canada the rest migrate with the exception of the woodpecker but I am not sure it is found across Canada

The Grey Jay.
so smart, very social and Given that they Breed in the winter...we how more Canadien can a bird be? lol.

In the States you only encounter the Canada Jay on high mountains, to me it is such a fantastic harbinger of the northern forests. It is such a thrill to encounter them.

It is a smart bird that inhabits many regions of Canada.

I had never heard of the Gray Jay until I read about this campaign in the newspaper this past week and the reasons for choosing the Gray Jay were set forth. They are the perfect bird for our national bird both in characteristics as set forth in the reasons why it should be chosen as well as not being already a provincial bird.

We see these inquisitive and intelligent birds in the boreal parts of Maine, and they're always amazing to behold. Tame but at the same time wary and swift on the wing, they will readily interact with humans... but only on their terms. Gray Jays were well-known and described in the old logging tales from the great North woods, where lumberjacks took much amusement from their clever antics. The "Canada Jay" only makes sense to be Canada's national bird.

The Canada Jay is a bird of the north and certainly is worthy of being the national bird of Canada.

I read about the whiskey jack/grey jay and agree that its traits exemplify Canadians, and especially the fact it is almost exclusively Canadian by territory.

The gray jay is an excellent representative for Canada for several reasons: 1) it is not already a Provincial/Territorial bird so it doesn't already have a claim to fame, 2) is found in every single province and territory, 3) only found in a few areas in the USA, 3) is a permanent resident and thrives in the Canadian winters, and 4) is gregarious (a good quality for any Canadian).

Just a friendly, pleasant, handsome bird !

This bird lives here all year round. It is naturally friendly, curious, reserved and quiet. A lot like most of us who live in northern Canada.

The Whiskey Jack is a very tame bird, and will eat right out of your hand. A very pretty bird as well. I love them!

I agree with the points in this article by David Bird:

Growing up in Alberta and B.C., I had an opportunity to enjoy this beautiful bird at many of our campsites. He would always come to our table to enjoy a hand-out. His song is unforgettable and he is truly a rascal.

I grew up with the Whiskey Jack. We called them Camp Robbers when I was a kid. These birds are wonderful. They can mimic the sound of other birds and some animals. They have personality and can become quite tame if you feed them. I have seen them land on people and steal food out of people's hands. I love these birds!

This bird is truly Canadian.

The Gray Jay covers all the features of a truly Canadian bird as spelled out by Dr Bird. If it gets enough votes, it can once again be called a Canada Jay, so lets vote and tell your friends.

Dr. Bird makes a valid and well-informed case for this unique species to get our vote. I KNOW that it gets mine too! Gray Jay is the right - and in my humble opinion the only - choice as our great country's national bird.

Guy Wapple
(A birder since 1973)

Not a Canadian, but I had the great fortune to live as a Landed Immigrant on Denman Island, B.C. in the early '80s. Canada Rocks! I think the Whiskey Jay would be a stellar representation.

When I first heard about this I immediately said Whiskeyjack! The Ghosts of old loggers, as they are called in some parts. What an amazing bird.

I would like to see the name changed back to Canada Jay, but if it must be a Grey Jay, then we should at least spell it correctly, with an "e".

I like the Gray Jay because they are very harmless and they probably make cheerful sounds, like all bird do!

I liked what David Bird had to say.

I like the Gray Jay because like most Canadians they are friendly and quite intelligent. You will find them almost anywhere you go and will always appreciate their beauty and how they seem to know how to make do when nobody is around to feed them. I have had them sit on the edge of my plate while on camping trips and they appear out of nowhere it seems even in dense parts of forests I have visited.When stopped for lunch while cutting wood for lumber or firewood years ago it was common for Gray Jays to come and join you. They never got into the habit of bringing anything for lunch but would always take what you had to offer. .......Cheers, Frank

While a number of species can be voted on — the Gray Jay is our most uniquely, Canadian Bird. It lives here year round — just like most of us! It is intelligent, friendly to people and exhibits amazing survival feats.

This is the ONE & ONLY to represent Canada! I hope this little fella comes out ahead. In my wilderness travels chickadees are the ones that find me and keep me company. Then mysterially along comes the Grey Jay! Chickadees are common & I love them so! But when the Grey Jay makes an appearance it is such a thrill! They represent 'WILDERNESS' 'WILD PLACES' Thus Canada in my books!

For all of the reasons stated so far, this should be our national bird. I was snow-shoeing last weekend and stopped to take a picture of the scenery and was photo-bombed by a whiskeyjack. I don't know of anyone who doesn't smile when they appear like little ghosts to see what you are doing and whether there is food involved.

I'm looking for a bird that is found across the country, is non-migratory, is not a Provincial bird, or is not currently used like the Loon on our coinage. I like the additional reasons provided by David Bird which were published in Gloria Galloway's article in the Globe and Mail on Friday, January 23/15.

I am not really much of an essay writer. I do feel that the grey jay says a lot about Canada though. I think it is important that a national bird be a year round resident, unlike the loon that is only here seasonally. The grey jay stays for the long winters Canada is known for. The grey jay also speaks volumes to how so many early Canadians survived for years storing and hiding away its food to be eaten when there is no other food to be found. I have also learned with out photographing that these birds are rather calm and friendly, another characteristic that Canada is and wants to be known for around the world.

This bird can be found braving our winters all across Canada. They are brave and will warm the hearts of kids and visitors to the wilderness.

Gray jays are the most Canadian bird we have. They live here year round, they are friendly and love people. As someone who works in the woods I love to hear the gray jays when working alone, they make you feel like you have a friend.

A friendly sweet-natured bird.

Dave Bird is correct on all points. This is absolutely the best choice.

Local traditions passed down from old woodsmen showing great respect for the Gorby bird or Moose Bird (common old-time New Brunswick Names for Grey Jay / Canada Jay / Whisky Jack) One tale goes warns against doing any misdeed to a Gorby or your deed will come back to haunt you. Often a piece of food was intentionally left behind for these camp 'friends'. I suspect further lore is attached to these ubiquitous woodland birds throughout the country, affirming their status as a "national bird"

A bird that represents the northern habitat, life-style, and survivability that brought Canada from an unknown wilderness to the country that it is today.

(Born in St. Stephen, NB but living in the U.S.)

The Gray Jay essay was the most compelling of the ones I read. Although the Chickadee or Pileated Woodpecker might be my second choice because of personal preference.

I am convinced the selection of a national bird should be made on the premise that the bird's range is in all Canadian Provinces and Territories; it should as well be living in Canada twelve months of the year. The bird selected should be regarded as a symbol to all Canadians regardless where they live in Canada.

It is quite simple. The Canada Jay stays around all year. Nothing against the loon, but try and find it in our country during the winter months. It is time to have a symbol that braves the winter months. My second choice would be the unobtrusive chickadee, another bird that hangs in for the winter. The beaver is not our greatest pick as a symbol as it hides out house during the winter, is a rodent and occasionally has a tree fall on itself. It's time to have a symbol that embraces winter.

To attempt to improve on Dr. Bird's essay would be futile and after reading it I challenge you to put forth a better argument for this amazing little corvid. For those who have not spent time with the Gray jay in the woods, you are missing out and anyone would instantly realize there can be no other choice.

In addition, there are many local legends here in New Brunswick dealing with the Grey jay and the punishment of those who dare mistreat it. Not that failing to elect the only logical choice would be mistreatment, but beware- you have been warned...

This is a resident bird in Canada and this is a real Canadian bird, which reflects "Canadian traits". It is very trustworthy, charming and social.

Canada'a National Bird should be a year round resident, not a migratory bird that is only here for a few months. The Gray Jay is a tough little fellow who can survive Canada's winters, like we humans ! It is found throughout the country and is not a species that is a nuisance, but lives in harmony with nature and people. A good example for all of us.

Canada'a National Bird should be a year round resident, not a migratory bird that is only here for a few months. The Gray Jay is a tough little fellow who can survive Canada's winters, like we humans ! It is found throughout the country and is not a species that is a nuisance, but lives in harmony with nature and people. A good example for all of us.

I agree with others that this smart, friendly and tough little bird that is found across the country reflects Canadians. It is not as 'pretty' as others, but looks are not everything.

This is a bird found all over Canada, it is not an official bird for any province and it even has a Canadian reference in its latin name, Perisoreus canadensis!

Stays year-round in all provinces and territories, does not occur very much outside of Canada, many great Canadian qualities, and not the official bird of any other jurisdiction. Would be a fabulous choice.

It is Canadian by name and recognized by the first people. Enough for me

The whiskey jack is a reasonably common but distinctive bird, it has character, and it stays in Canada during the winter.

The whiskey jack resides in all provinces and territories,and only in Canada in North America,and that there is a connection to the first nations in its name wiisagejaak in Anishnabee.

These are the most important reasons for choosing it as our national bird

My family has always loved Gorbies ( the New Brunswick that is what we call them). Last year we moved to a remote community in the NWT and within the first day of living in our new house my husband had a grey jay eating out of his hand. They reminded us of our home in NB. Grey Jays just make me happy!!

Found across Canada, the Gray Jay is just like Canadians: smart (because it's a corvid), versatile, committed to partnerships (it's almost always found in pairs, underestimated (watch the number of people who think it won't steal food from their picnic table), adaptable and friendly. What other bird represents Canadians so well?

The Canada Jay is like Canadians, friendly, social and like the occasional drink.
They stick around all winter and don't fly away when the weather gets bad.

Love the Whiskey Jack (Gray jay). First saw the Whiskey Jack when I was skiing alone on Forbidden Plateau on Vancouver Island and stopped to eat my lunch and could not believe a bird wanted to eat out of my hand.

I agree with Dr. David Bird. I have seen Canada Jays from NB to BC, and in Yukon. They are iconic and a hardy bird of the forests of Canada.

They are so friendly! What better to represent friendly Canadians!

Gray Jay comes closest to being a truly unique, indigenous Canadian bird. With a wonderful,if slightly mischievous, personality. Just like a Canadian.

I'm voting for the gray jay because it is in the raven family, making it intelligent, but is only found in canada. Anyone who's experienced Canada's outdoors knows the friendly gray jay.

I understand it to be primarily a canadian territory bird only - non migratory.
It must be hearty. Like canadians it is a friednly but a bold bird. Even now I an thrilled to see them at our cottage. They were always a delight to see as children.
It is a nice looking bird, its curious, and other that being bold to seek food, it does not have any anoying habits such as Canada Geese and their dropping, or Crows and their incessant cawing. It is not an intimidating bird.

A friendly, curious friend from coast to coast.

This bird can be found in 90% of Canada and also stays in Canada "year round"! It is not flashy in appearance like most Canadians. It is a very friendly bird (like Canadians) and you can have them feeding out of your hand in no time!! They are the perfect "bird ambassador" forCanada!!

Friendly, intelligent, hardy, and prefers to stay in Canada year round..........what could be more representative of a good Canadian!

My family calls them Gorbies. They are beautiful, friendly and elusive (in NB at least). To me they symbolize the deep untouched wilderness - the best thing about Canada.

Change its name back to Canada Jay!

The Gray jay deserves to be Canada's national bird because it is found across the entire nation year round. Just like the Canadians this bird is the friendliest bird that inhabits our forests.

ATTENTION everyone we should choose the great song bird called the Gray jay because of its amazing songs and tunes that's pretty cool.It also is one of the most intrepid birds in North America.

Also did I mention they are so... cute.Like who wouldn't want to have a cute bird for are national bird pretty cool huh...well that's not all.

Did you know the live in the North forest all year long that would be cold?

I encountered my first Grey Jay while hiking in Whistler BC. My friend and I were eating lunch when 6 of them came to visit. I was amazed that they had no fear of us. One ate a piece of my sandwich after landing on my hand.
Once we were finished eating they hung around chirping away...our thoughts were that they were asking each other which one of us had the tastiest sandwich. It was a very enjoyable lunch break having these birds for company.

I chose this bird to vote for because it is not always in complete sight when you are driving along the road so it is not always seen. Also this bird is cute and in many ways also it can fly unlike a puffin or a penguin. This bird lives in the northern forest so this bird knows how to live the northern cold so this bird must be a strong bird that can survive freezing cold weather. that is why you should choose this bird!

Many birds may qualify in some manner but the Canada Jay is well named and should be our Canadian Bird. Is a year round resident of Canada. Is very friendly and intelligent bird.Lumerjacks used to say to kill a Canada Jay (Gorby) will bring bad luck to you and your family. May not be the most powerful bird but does represent Canada well. Can take and live in and with the wide variety of climates and climatic conditions in Canada.Is a true resident of all Canada to the best of my (perhaps) limited knowledge.Can deal withother life forms well and is very adaptive. Try getting to the point of feeding Canada Jays when you find them! They know enough to sttay back until you prove youn are friendley and willing to help them. Then they will approach you and take the food offered. Once done, they remember you and will be back to see to an your next visit.

This summer I worked on a wildfire suppression crew and worked on some very severe fires in the Northwest Territory and in Alberta. Gray Jays were always among the first wildlife species that returned to the locations of these fires, and I think this attests to their ability to survive in the most extreme of environments. It also helped ease the minds of us firefighters, as their presence indicated that the worst of the fire had passed, and they would even occasionally keep us company as we worked.

I really do not know much about the Gray Jay, but I was going to see if the Blue Jay was nominated. After reading about the Gray Jay, I feel it is a very good choice for the National Bird of Canada.

It is a permanent resident and super fiendly. Very mysterious and represents the souls of woodsmen who have vanished in the wilderness.
And it is already known as the "CANADA" Jay!

Found all over Canada and hasn't received the recognition it deserves.

Birds that are provincial symbols should not be considered.

Par principe, j'ai attendu l'ouverture du site français pour voter. Je choisis le Mésangeai du Canada parce que c'est un très bel oiseau, qui symbolise bien notre nordicité. Confiant, il se comporte comme un ami des humains.

Je crois qu'il faut écarter les espèces qui ont déjà été choisies comme oiseau emblématique d'une province ou d'un état limitrophe au Canada. Ce serait un non-sens que le Plongeon huard soit choisi puisque c'est déjà l'emblème de l'Ontario. Des critères auraient dû être établis avant de lancer un tel concours et il aurait été de mise d'y associer un périodique francophone puisque le concours émane d'un périodique anglais alors que nous vivons dans un pays bilingue.

Not as essay - but I just have to vote for a bird that can trick me out of a juicy pork chop while camping.
Marcy Emberger

David M. Bird's rationale won me over. Agree that going to a public vote isn't likely the best way to choose a national bird, particularly when most Canadians probably are not aware or do not appreciate our diversity of avian fauna. Leave this one to the ornithologists.

Gray Jays are very smart and they are also very friendly. You can be in the middle of the forest with absolutely no one around... other than the gray jay that is plotting to steal your sandwich. They have lively personalities. It is said that whiskey Jacks are the old souls of loggers and trappers and that is why to they are so smart & not afraid to be your friend. Just when you think your alone in the forest, Who comes and visits you? The curious wiskey jack. They are also very vocal & try to mimic you or the other birds around. They are the ideal Canadian bird, smart, chatty, friendly, and are around through the coldest days to the warmest even when you least expect it. Always a friend when your in the forest whether your hunting, logging, hiking or working. They are not shy to say hello.

All of David Bird's reasons! Every time I sat and had lunch with my students, outside,in the boreal forest, gray jays would always be flitting around, waiting for a chance to steal a piece of food! They always bring a smile to the faces of all!

I was born in the late 50's in rural New Brunswick, the Gorbie has been part of the wilderness experience for us woods people for generations. The most friendly birds and a great source of entertainment at lunch time. Feeding the Gorbies is fun and they do know where people are in the woods food is near by. I have photo's of gorbies setting on people at lunch time sharing food. They don't eat with people just take the handout and hide it in the woods for later. And of course hurry back for more.

As a Canadian citizen who emigrated here from the US, I have to say that in all the years I spent vacationing in Canada before making the move, it is encounters with grey jays that I remember most in all my outdor experiences. Definitely Canada's bird!

My vote is strictly based on the fact that it is native to Canada and lives here all year long, as well as all across the country. I believe in order to be truly Canadian you must be born in Canada and live here all year long.

I've voted for this bird because it's also known as the Canada Jay or Whisky Jack.
To be named Canada's national bird it should be spelled GREY" Jay NOT "Gray".

My vote is strictly based on the fact that it is native to Canada and lives here all year long. I believe in order to be truly Canadian you must be born in Canada and live here all year long.

Some may think to go with a majestic bird like a some sort of hawk or falcon. I would say most Newfoundlanders would say to choose a puffin. But not met, I think we should give with a bird that can be found in every province. A bird that is friendly and has no problem with landing in your hand. Although it would steal your sandwich if you were having a picnic. And they will keep you company if you get lost in the woods. Yep! The Grey Jay is my vote.

Attributes of the Gray jay align itself with being the best choice for our National Bird. I've got some great pictures of one, coming for breakfast and being quite social in his/her attempt at getting a piece of bacon.

I worked at a mine in the Yukon for years.These birds soon learned when lunch time was and were waiting for me to show up each day.They were not very timid and would come right up to me for food.Lots of fun!!

Dr. Bird said it all, and I strongly agree with him. Our Canadian bird should be as uniquely Canadian as possible.

For those not familiar with this bird, once you've had a Gray Jay look you in the eye, and select a piece of food from you - you're admiration and affection is infinite.

The Gray Jay is found year round is all provinces and territories of Canada.

love this friendly visitor, and have always loved its nickname of Whiskyjack. best friend all winter.

Grey jays are friendly, intelligent, curious and are often the first creatures to welcome you into their wilderness! Although they don't just occur in Canada, the majority of their year-round residence seems to mirror our borders. These awesome little birds are also quite cold-tolerant and, like most Canadians, raise their kids in the dead cold of winter while surviving on stashes of food they made earlier in the year. I can't think of a better bird that I want to represent our country than this tough little survivor, whose name is already so Canadian: Perisoreus canadensis.

A wonderful choice as Canada's national bird

They're just as friendly as Canadians are known for being so why not make it our national bird!

We have always enjoyed seeing the grey jay at work in Algonquin park during our many visits there over the years. They are busy caching food for the long winters and bring up their young under difficult conditions. They are are joy to watch and don't sound too bad either. They are nice to look at and will take food from you to cache so you can see them up close and even on your hand. I was on a naturalist hike a few years ago and had the remains of a croissant in my pack. The grey jays loved it and having small pieces in their hands allowed a number of international tourists and small children to feed the jays and see them up close. The are the only bird that naturalists say you can feed in the park.

Social and Hardy ....

Fascinating reading all the comments about the Gray Jay, the frisky Whisky-Jack. I do agree with all of the comments written by David Bird, repeated by many others and I vote for this beautiful specimen to be our national bird.

the grey jay is commonly seen flitting about the lodgepole pines in the mountains; they are curious and intelligent, and will most happily accept any food offered.

I like whisky. (optional)

In the Comox Valley we have a very special bird, the Whiskey Jack! It is well known for its behavior with humans. Even though it is a wild bird, it will come and
eat right from your hand.
Let me tell you a warm story about this friendly bird.
Blop, blop, blop, blop (water drops sound)! Spring has arrived in the valley and with it, a newborn Whiskey Jack. It shakes its wings and looks from the nest. The fields are full of pink flowers blossoming around the melting snow. What a paradise!
As a little Whiskey Jack, he is very dependent on his parents but his parents are not very good at nurturing him. His parents are always too busy with the tourists.
His parents like to jump from one tourists head to another to gain their sympathy and their delicious food.
When they are not with the tourists, they spend time cleaning their feathers to look pretty. They have forgotten how to find their own food, and even, how to nurture their own young.
The small Whiskey Jack is alone and is trying to find his own food in the forest but he is a little clumsy.
Uff! uff! This is so difficult. Why should I have to learn all these hard ways to find food? I am going to try to get some food from the tourists too! The little Whiskey Jack has begun to steal the tourist’s food when they come to have a picnic close to
the lake. Oh my! I have eaten too many potato chips, but I can’t stop eating them. They are so addictive!
Now I have stomach-ache. I will not rely on humans again! The little Whiskey Jack wants to store his food as his ancestors used to, like wild fruits and dragonflies, but times have changed.
Oh! Somebody has stolen all my food. I hid it in the bark of the red cedars, but some bird must have seen me. There are too many birds in the Valley that have arrived, attracted by the tourists. They steal the tourist’s food and now they have stolen my own food too! I must leave but where will I go?
Finally, the little Whiskey Jack asks the oldest red cedar of the Valley. It is connected through his roots with all the trees in the Valley and it has told him about
a place without tourists, without the over congestion of competition, quiet and peaceful; the old ski station.
Oh! Here the time seems to have stopped! The old chair lift is still standing, but there are no skiers to use it. The ski tracks are full of juicy berries and trees are
growing again. Trees are full of fruits are losing their leaves. It is time to get ready for the winter. I think I can stay here!
And he lived happily ever after!

Whisky-jacks are also known as camp robbers, but you're so used to their lurking about hoping to get your food that you soon become very careful. At least in summer, when they want your peanut-butter-and-jam sandwich. But even when it's still winter, they are already nesting, so when you see them while out cross-country skiing, feel free to give them some food for their chicks. (Sunflower seeds and nuts seem to go down well, raisins they seem to have problems with.) They are fun birds to have around, always leaving you in a happy mood. And, in a very subtle way, their plumage is quite lovely. The American Ornithological Union (stress on "American") changed the name to gray jay saying that a few are found in the US. Except they changed robins to American robins and kestrels to American kestrels even though these birds are common in Canada. So vote for this very Canadian bird and maybe, as well, we can get its proper name back. In the meantime, you can call them whisky-jacks!

While I was growing up in North Central Saskatchewan (Prince Albert National Park), I often enjoyed these birds. I was told they were called a Canada Jay. To me, they signify Canada.

I have seen the Whiskey Jack many times when camping in and around the Rockies in Alberta. This bird is not a provincial bird but should be honoured. They are hardy birds & beautiful in their own right.

Gray Jay is the obvious choice for our national bird. It's very intelligent, and very friendly, which are also the characteristics of Canadians. They are not too showy looking but very cute nonetheless, also very much like we Canadians. They are also commonly seen in Canadian, but at the same time very unique (unlike sparrows, seagulls, crows, and blue jays, etc.) I think Gray Jay are the more perfect choice for Canadian national bird.

Malheureusement, je n'ai pas encore eu le plaisir de rencontrer un Mésangeai dans nos forêts, mais je suis d'accord avec le Dr David Bird sur toute la ligne. Je vote donc pour ce bel oiseau qui est présent partout au Canada et qui n'est pas déjà l'emblème d'une province. Cet oiseau représenterait bien le Canada. Je suis également d'avis qu'il devrait être renommé officiellement le "Geai du Canada" ou "Canada Jay".

Dr. Bird has convinced me. I remember feeding and chatting with Gray Jays in Jasper National Park, where we called them Whiskey Jacks.

The Gray Jay is found in all provinces in Canada and is easily spotted and identified by its presence in campgrounds, around campfires, most places in the great Canadian outdoor.

The national bird must be a bird that ALL Canadians should have the opportunity to see and easily identify and a bird that visits your presence in the outdoors. The Gray Jay is friendly, inquisitive, sneaky, daring, playful ... in many ways like kids.

And, we must consider the future of our forest and conservation of the birds and other species that live there. I feel this is another reason to choose the Gray Jay since it gives us an identity with the great Canadian outdoors.



The Gray jay can live in a wide variety of environments right across Canada. That implies it's both a very hardy as well as a smart little bird. It's also the "social convener" to many who visit Canada's natural places and can see it in action. What a lively and interesting creature - naming it Canada's national bird just seems to fit. Here's hoping it wins!

This is the ideal bird for Canada: ubiquitous, industrious, modest and friendly.

I agree with David Bird's excellent points. This would be the best bird to represent all the areas of Canada.

The Gray Jay is always welcome with his antics and willingness to accept food {seeds} from your hand. He is gregarious, not showy in plumage, and loved by children. Another name for him is Camp Robber, which I think was conferred on him in the logging camps.

Have had a lot of experiences revolved around this bird through my many years in the outdoors. Having canoed, hunted and fished and have always encountered this bird. It friendly, easily tamed to the point that it will eat out of your hand.

Loved what Dr. Bird had to say in the Globe and Mail.

This friendly bird, just like most Canadians, is ubiquitous and an inventive survivor. His nick name Whiskey Jack recalls the nick name for Canadians, Jack Canuck.

The Gray (Grey) Jay is an awesome, friendly Canadian bird!! It is always seen around campfires and homes in the countryside in rural New Brunswick. It represents lots of fond childhood memories for me. Here in our neck of the woods we call it the "Gorbie".

Whereever ayou are in the boreal forest or montaine region the grey jay is sure to find you and perch nearby. Friendly presence in the wilderness.

Friendly, migrate mostly in Canada, are found coast to coast, smart like a fox.

I like that it is a predominant Canadian resident!
Also Dr. Bird from McGill University had a strong argument for making this bird our National bird!

The Whiskyjack as I like to call it shows up at one's campsite or picnic location quite regularly and is a welcome visitor who sometimes performs tricks for all.

I vote for the "gray jay", but i would prefer that it is written with the Canadian spelling "grey". Using the American spelling for such a symbol is treason :)

I think it's important to choose a bird that is a) archetypally Canadian, b) can be found in Canada year-round, and c) is not already represented as an official bird of a Canadian province or territory.

The Gray Jay (a.k.a. Canada Jay) seems to fit the bill nicely.

No essay . . . just an acknowledgement of Dr. Bird's case for the gray jay!

This bird is Weesakachak, what the Cree people call the trickster, the word that sounds like whiskey-jack. This is the trickster bird who is both myth and reality ... a bit like Canada itself. He was here playing tricks on the first people of this part of the world a long time ago, and he continues to play tricks on newcomers and first nations people alike. And like Weesakachak he links the past with the present, and joins together all people who don't take themselves too seriously.

I prefer that we call it a "Whiskey Jack".... combining the imagery of Canadian Rye Whiskey with this great little songbird which is found all over Canada but rarely crosses the border to the USA.
Seems that the population of Whiskey Jacks is stable and unlikely to become extinct in the foreseeable future.

I have spent many a trip in the backwoods of Ontario and have been welcomed by these lovely friendly birds. In the same length of time I have never seen a Snowy owl.
Plus we should not adopt a Provincial bird as a our National bird. As well the common loon is Minnesota's State bird!
Vote for the Canada Jay, a very worthy candidate for all the reasons so eloquently stated by Dr. Bird and others.

I have traveled all through Canada where I usually see many of these birds in many provinces, the Gray Jay, smarty ass that he is, as we do camp a lot. Vanc Island, northern BC all over AB/SK/MB/back home to Ontario and into the east coast doing Dog Shows in many places with my scotties. The most prolific bird across Canada,I see is the Gray Jay begging for seed and bread and crackers. The more I give them the more seeds that stay on the trees for winter.They are funny and sneaky and because of their size they are not afraid to perch on my hand, this is so much fun and enjoyment abounds every where.

I have traveled all through Canada where I usually see many of these birds in many provinces, the Gray Jay, smarty ass that he is, as we do camp a lot. Vanc Island, northern BC all over AB/SK/MB/back home to Ontario and into the east coast doing Dog Shows in many places with my scotties. The most prolific bird across Canada,I see is the Gray Jay begging for seed and bread and crackers. The more I give them the more seeds that stay on the trees for winter.They are funny and sneaky and because of their size they are not afraid to perch on my hand, this is so much fun and enjoyment abounds every where.

the Canada Jay aka Whiskey Jack, grey jay is found in ALL provinces & territories in Canada. It is NOT a bird already designated by a Province or Territory - so no copycatting/stealing from an existing designated bird.
It is a curious, intelligent handsome bird with a certain noble heir about it - no gaudy colours to show off however not shy about showing itself. It is successful obtaining plants, seeds, insects, animals for food and to me is an absolute bang on pick for Canada's national bird symbol.

Dr. Bird's essay convinced me the Gray Jay is the bird for us. Good luck.

The Grey Jay is mischievous and resourceful and quite bold. To me, it seems an appropriate symbol for Canada

The smartest and is all across Canada

The Gray Jay will always be your eternal companion on wilderness wanders.

Can be found coast to coast, hardy, friendly, unobtrusive, best symbol of the Canadian spirit.

I am placing my vote for the Whiskey Jack. I have worked my entire career in the forestry profession. It always amazes me that, although these birds are not present around our rural home in Scotsburn, I rarely enter any woodlands without this bird accompanying me. They are extremely friendly and with a little work they will eat out of your hand. Love these birds, and because wooded areas are such an important part of our ecosystem, this species is indeed a major contributor to this ecosystem, and they have my vote.

The Gray jay seems to fit well (living all year in Canada) and not found much in other countries. We should choose a bird that hasn't been chosen for another province or country, if at all possible. It is a song bird and has in the past been known as the Canada Jay. For these reasons, I think it is a good choice for our National Bird.

An all year around bird. Does not abandon us in winter.

I fully support the points raised David Bird - particularly, found in all provinces/territories but not so much in the US, stays in Canada year round, friendly, hardy, low key, resourceful, and not already 'taken' as a representative bird in other provinces/territories or cities.

I love the Gray Jay. I was camping once in Ojibway Provincial Park and a Gray Jay visited me every morning when i made breakfast. Cooking bacon. They sat in a tree 2 feet from my face and played around a lot and tried to steal food from me. I will never forget it! That was the summer i discovered bird watching! And it is already considered a Canadian bird and they are trusting by nature. Isn't that the epitome of being Canadian??!!

This is an amazing friendly bird that is common in my area of Western Alberta. With a name including the word "Canada" Jay not sure the origin of the name but must have touched someone years ago. Also known as Gray Jay and Camp Robber. A very friendly (describes Canadians) and Canada wide range this bird would be a great choice for Canada's Bird.

I listened to a radio interview from Vancouver, BC on station CKNW regarding this survey. I found the arguments in favour of the gray jay convincing in that it is not the provincial bird of any province and its range includes most of the entire country.

Just time for a few comments. I love the spirit of this songbird that I associate with northern woods, with canoe trips and camping in the forest, in Ontario, near Fort McPherson in the NWT, and in the Yukon. I remember carrying a baguette back to the tiny cabin I stayed in when I lived in Dawson City, Yukon. A bold grey jay swooped down and pecked the end of the baguette and of course, I couldn't resist his charming overtures and gave him more. You are never lonely in the woods when you know there are songbirds often hidden in the forest and when in particular you are greeted by this curious little fellow who breaks barriers between people and animals, who builds bridges between man and nature. I love this bird for that.

I cross-country ski in the same area of the Mountains on Vancouver Island. When we stop for lunch I will try to estimate how long before the family of whiskey jacks will appear--normally within a minute.I also see the joy of small children who first encounter encounter this bird as it steal food from there fingers.I have also seen it in most provinces.

Perfect choice and was my first though when I saw the search for a National bird

I remember working in the bush many years age, and the Canada Jay/Gray Jay/Whiskey Jack, as they were known, attempting to share my lunch. They are very inquisitive birds and do not fear humans. They are also very beautiful birds and would be a great candidate for Canada's official bird.

I remember working in the bush many years age, and the Canada Jay/Gray Jay/Whiskey Jack, as they were known, attempting to share my lunch. They are very inquisitive birds and do not fear humans. They are also very beautiful birds and would be a great candidate for Canada's official bird.

I remember many years ago while living in B.C. we would go camping and the Gray Jay was referred to as the camp robber. If you left any snacks out on the picnic table and left even for a moment they would be gone. They provided much entertainment and I felt a great love for their intelligence and playfulness and their always knowing when to take advantage of us. I always had lots of snacks.
I now have lots of great memories. The Gray Jay is the bird for me.

After reading a lot about the Gray Jay (Canada Jay) and seeing this bird on a regular basis, I believe it is a great choice to represent Canada. I see the Gray Jay on a daily basis here on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Here in BC we call them the Whiskey Jack or "camp bandit" because the will hang around people if there is a chance to get something edible. I see them a lot up in the higher elevations while enjoying the beauty of the mountains while trout fishing or when I'm up fixing a repeater for our amateur radio club. It's a joy to see these birds interacting with humans even though they can become a bit of a pest at times. Just the same they are very much an exlusive Canadian bird. And I would be honored to know that the Gray Jay is Canada's official bird.

Where I grew up the Common Jay was called Whiskey Jack, a
Reincarnated Logger. This bird was given great reverence in the Forest Industry and most loggers would protect them. My father, a great bird lover, and Logger always saved some of his lunch for the Whiskey Jack. Makes me smile to just think about it.

I don't wish to emerge an 'essay' other than it's the most frequent bird in Canada, the friendliest bird, and an alternate bird for our Country

I agree with the information posted on the Gray Jay. Over the past 15 years, we have travelled across Canada with our kids, camping in our National and Provincial parks. In most of the place we have seen manyof the birds highlighted, but it is the memory of the 'Whiskey Jack'/Gray Jay that has stayed with us

The name “whiskey-jack”, was taken from Wiskedjak, Wisagatcak, Wisekejack, or other variations of a word used in the Algonquian family of aboriginal languages of eastern Canada. This familiar and all year round bird of the Boreal Forest across Canada is delightful! Canada Jay, Gray Jay or any of the above names… this friendly and delightful bird - long associated with the Camp history and tradition of All Canadians - from Aboriginal Canadians, to Lumberjack- to recreational camper. This hearty and friendly little Canuck gets my vote!

One of the most human friendly birds in our country. The Gray Jay is a welcome sight to see as it will come down and take food out of your hand, bringing entertainment to you especially in the winter as we sit on the frozen lake ice fishing.

Although the loon is one of my favorite birds, the Gray Jay seems like a logical choice for National bird. It is a mischievous bird that is fun to watch and interact with. Definitely a good choice

Grey Jays:
-well known to the native North Americans pre-settlement and welcoming/friendly with European settlers/developers (anyone with food!)
-consistent, resourceful, resilient, friendly, and Canadians!

I think anyone who has been visited by Grey Jays while taking a rest stop on a northern Ontario trail in the winter would consider voting for them as Canada's Official Bird.

It has ties to the First Nations (Whiskey Jack) and it used to be called the Canadian Jay. Seems like a good choice.

I heard Dr. Bird explaining why he thought the Gray Jay was so emblematic as Canada's official bird and was very impressed with his reasons.

the grey jay can be found in every province. when i go hiking through algonquin park the friendly, amusing, beautiful grey jay always comes to greet me

The Gray Jays personality reflects that of Canadians! It is among the smartest of birds, the friendliest, and the hardiest. It is also a bird found all over Canada, particularly in our Boreal Forest, with only a small portion found in the US. A truly Canadian bird, who stays here all year.

The delightful, inquisitive Gray Jay has my vote. Dr. Bird says it all. The Gray Jay is:
-intelligent, well-adapted to climate, friendly, resourceful and lives nation-wide. Should be named Canada Jay.

Canada Jays are all across Canada and the northern tier of states, plus it already uses Canada in its name. The Loon is also in northern Europe, and so not as unique to Canada. Either one however, would be a good ambassador to the US, where our citizens need to be more aware of Canada.

I was convinced by Dr. Bird's article in the Globe & Mail. Do we really want to be represented by a loon? I just returned from a birding holiday in Costa Rica, whose national bird is the quietly arrayed clay-coloured thrush, amid a crowd of showier rivals. The Gray Jay is modest, stays here all year and is found in the boreal forest across the country. A good choice!

I like professor Bird's observation that Canada is its major territory, it is not the official bird of any of the provinces, and canada is part of its French and Latin names.

Thy Gray Jay or what should be re-named the Canadian Jay is a plain (but beautiful bird at the same time) that is very friendly (a lot like us Canadians) whose pictures & descriptions are often maligned in American field guides making it look like a skinny chickadee, (which is absolutely false),which leads me to believe that most American's have never seen one, (since it is only found in a few spots in mid-western States). In fact the Canadian Jay is a perfect name since it is hardy bird that flourishes in our harsh climate & it is found in all of 10 provinces & 3 territories.

I fully agree with Dr. David Bird and can say nothing additional in support of the gray jay. I am uninformed regarding birds in general and I have my likes and dislikes. The common loon is a favourite, and its popularity as seen by the voting up to today is overwhelming. But, should the uninformed decide? I don't think so.

This is a wonderful bird--friendly, resourceful, a little quirky. I love that it doesn't migrate, but stays here all winter. I love one of its other names--Whiskey Jack--and especially that it's also called the Canada Jay.

Let's choose this bird for our national symbol.

Their territory is Canada wide, their personality is endearing and they bring attention and appreciation to the Canadian wilderness that we treasure.

Lynn Kitchen

I agree, with David Bird, a NATIONAL bird must be so... north south east and west.. and our vast Boreal Forest. It stays here year round , not escaping south like so many of our summer birds. (Canada Goose) And it's character too hardy, like us. We need to promote it more.
As for the others.... the Snowy owl and Common loon, well recognized, and showy but Ontario and Quebec have already chosen these birds. A good choice for both. And the Chickadee always cute, stays in winter, but New Brunswick has it.

Read Dr. Bird's arguments, he says it all!

The Whiskey Jack is the most friendly bird.
My wife and I were out camping with our daughter and family in the Alberta foothills of the Canadian Rockies. We were all sitting around eating lunch when a Whiskey Jack flew up. I told my 5 year old gran-daughter to hold her sandwich up to her shoulder. The Whiskey Jack landed on her coat and began to nibble at the bread. She sat and giggled and they had a wonderful time together.

I think the friendliness of the Whiskey Jack is an appropriate symbol for Canada.
Also it has great signifance in traditional Aboriginal culture:

Wisakedjak (Wìsakedjàk in Algonquin, Wīhsakecāhkw in Cree and Wiisagejaak in Oji-cree) is the Crane Manitou found in northern Algonquian mythology, similar to the trickster god Nanabozho in Ojibwa aadizookaanan (sacred stories) and Inktonme in Assiniboine myth. He is generally portrayed as being responsible for a great flood which destroyed the world originally made by the Creator, as well as the one who created the current world with magic, either on his own or with powers given to him by the Creator for that specific purpose.

His name is subject to many variant spellings, including Weesack-kachack, Wisagatcak, Wis-kay-tchach, Wissaketchak, Woesack-ootchacht, and undoubtedly others.

I just feel the national bird of Canada should be a species that is primarily endemic to the country. Only the Grey Jay and the Spruce Grouse really fit this.

The whiskey jack endures our winters. It does not abandon us as the loon does. End of story!

A National bird should be found nation wide. The Canadian Jay seems to suit the Canadian persona - social, attractive but not flashy, speaks both official languages, found up into the arctic and down to the southern boarder. Stores food for the winter, so is socially responsible.

This won't be an essay...simply a strong support for the case made by David M. Bird, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Ornithology, McGill University. He's right on...Job Well Done Mr. Bird!

One of the few birds that is found across all of Canada which cannot be said for some of the current vote leaders.

Can't add too much to what Dr. Bird has already stated. It's a permanent resident, well liked by everyone and in many ways represents Canada's spirit.

Dr. Bird's 15 reasons are pretty compelling. Whiskey-Jack's are not as noticeable as loons, but their tenacity when trying to share in your lunch was always a highlight when skiing or hiking. Also, I do get to see one every now and then down here in Colorado.

I grew up with the Whisky Jack in northern Manitoba..... Why not call it by it's native name: Wisakedjak?

Grey Jay, Perisorius Canadensis, the grey jay is all across Canada year round, sees to be the best fitting bird.

Small but mighty. Enduring and unique to Canadian habitat. Gray is understated, escapes notice. No flash of colour for us who live in this wintery, sometimes gray but magnificent land. Survivalists all.

After reading the articles, no doubt the grey jay (which I was unfamiliar with prior!) is the exacting personality and thorough habitant that I would wish to be represented by. How sweet.

The Gray Jay is my choice for Canada’s national bird. Also known as the Canada Jay, this bird is a familiar companion to people who work or play in the northern forests of all 13 provinces and territories of Canada. It is fearless, curious, and a little bit cheeky in its quest for food from hikers and skiers. The Gray Jay is sometimes called Whiskey Jack or Wiskedjak - an Algonquian word for a mischievous spirit who liked to play tricks on people. Delightful character or minor annoyance, the Gray Jay certainly has charisma. Like Canadians, it is hardy and able to thrive in long northern winters as a permanent resident. No fleeing to warm southern climes for this tough bird! I believe the Gray Jay should be chosen as Canada’s national bird — and it should be more commonly called the Canada Jay.

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The whisky jack is the best choice

It's completely Canadian.

For the reasons laid out by Dr Bird, I vote for the whiskey jack!

Grey Jays are friendly and unassuming birds, which are pretty Canadian traits. However, I'm voting for the Grey Jay because it may be the most Canadian bird geographically on the list. I love loons, but we already have a national symbol (the sugar maple) that is more international (eastern U.S.) and regional (south and eastern) than it is Canadian. The Grey Jay is our north. It lives in every province and territory. It isn't the most inspiring, but it's smart and sweet and a great Canadian choice.

I like to ski western Canada each winter, there is almost always run called Whiskey Jack on most mountains. This is a noble bird who represents both myself and country well.

I remember the Gray Jay from childhood, one of the first birds I was introduced to in the wilderness of Nova Scotia. My family built a cabin on a lake in Musquodoboit Harbour, and Gray Jays...aka Whiskey Jacks or Canada Jays were everywhere. We would feed these birds from our hands without fear. The Gray Jays were our friends of the woods as children and they would follow us as we travelled throughout the forest. Anyone who has encountered these birds would know that they have playful characteristics and a kind disposition. I have a genuine fondness for these birds and believe they deserve to be our National Bird. They are Canadian!

Grey Jays, which I've always known as Whiskeyjacks, have been familiar company in the backcountry and at Girl Guide camps for most of my life. I'm about to go on a winter tent-camping weekend with my Girl Guide group, and we will undoubtedly have to defend our lunches... the girls will have funny memories just like mine from thirty years ago.

(But the jays had better not steal my breakfast again, or I'll rescind my vote!)

Such a welcoming ambassador for Canada who will perch on your picnic table in a forested area and remind you that we're all neighbours who like to share.

found everywhere; year-round resident in most places; smart; cute. A close second is Raven (all the same traits, but scavenging roadside carcasses isn't particularly Canadian, or maybe it is.....?).

The grey jay or the Whiskey Jack as I know it is full of character which to me symbolizes Canadians. It is a bird that has kept me amused whenever I would go out into the mountains. It is quite friendly and is always willing to introduce itself to everyone who camps or hikes in the mountains.

The Gray Jay is a great choice for Canada's National Bird as it is found in every province and territory. It is hardy and smart enough to survive our harsh winters.

camp robbers are what we need as our icon as we face the environmental and socioeconomic challenges of the next century- smart adaptable, likes people...what more do we want!?

Like many Canadians they embrace winter and do not migrate to warmer climates when the temperature plummets. Gray Jays are resourceful and intelligent birds (being in what is considered the smartest of bird families, the Corvids). And they are found all across this great country of ours and so will represent all Canadians.
I also love that they are so friendly, often coming quite close to investigate me when I am out on the trails hiking or snowshoeing. Seeing one makes me smile.
I understand the appeal of the snowy owl or the loon (they are large, majestic and beautiful creatures) but they are already provincial birds, and so we should look outside elsewhere to one that can be found coast to coast to truly represent us all. I think that bird is the Gray Jay.

I am voting for the Gray jay for the excellent reasons listed by David M. Bird, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Ornithology, McGill University.

Smart, found all across Canada, friendly. Just the best choice.

Canada's intrepid bird! The GREY Jay/Whiskey Jack embodies Canada both spatially, and through its "Canadian" demeanor (friendly). It's range covers the entirety of Canada, from Coast to Coast, North to South.

A personal highlight of alpine or backcountry skiing trips is coming across a handful of daring Whiskey Jacks. During quick lunches the birds often perch on your fingers (and in my case, on your girlfriends head :), in hopes of a quick nut lunch.

My vote is for the Grey Jay!

A distinctive smart friendly bird found in every province. It formerly was called the "Canada Jay". It is found here year round and the majority of its global range is in Canada

This is a bird that is found in every province and territory in Canada. Never leaves it's wintery climes and reflects us as Canadians. Best bird to represent Canada.

The national bird of Canada SHOULD NOT also be a provincial bird. I think that goes without saying.

the gray jay( whisky jack) is the kindess bird. becomes a companion very easyly does not overextend its visit and socializes regularly.

Gray Jay... eh! I've been visited many times by these inquisitive and trusting birds while camping in the boreal forest.

We have the Whiskey Jacks with us all year round where I live. A quiet unpretentious bird much like ourselves but somehow always present just out of sight to jump into action when necessity arises. They seem to be the only bird that stays in Canada no matter what the weather and season, again much like the rest of Canadians. The only difference is that you don't hear the Whiskey Jacks cursing the weather everyday like we do, maybe we can learn something......:)

This is my kind of bird who can stand the cold and look after itself.

They are just so friendly. They look nice and probably sound nice, like most birds, but they are also very, very friendly.

While scrolling down this list the Gray Jay struck out to me as a Canadian Icon. Below I have briefly summarized some of the key reasons why the Gray Jay should be our national bird:
1) Its' range is widespread across every Canadian province and only a portion of its' range spills into the American Rockies.
2) The Gray Jay resides in the Boreal Forest, a very geological significant forest to us Canadians where a large majority of Canada's birds and wildlife call home.
3) The Gray Jay is very similar to us Canadians. It is a bird that can survive the harsh winter month's as it raises its' young through the middle of winter, not even bothering to raise a second set of young in the spring. It has also been a survivor since remains have been dug up dating back to about 18,000 years ago. This is much like us since our identity has been shown throughout many struggles throughout our history. Both the Gray Jay and us Canadian's show our friendliness, as this bird is one of the few birds that can be hand fed.
4) Finally this bird is abundant and has the least concern on the endangered list.
5) The Gray Jay is the only Canadian bird that has had its' name taken from aboriginal origin that can be found commonly in the english language. This bird resembles the aboriginal culture that came before us as well as our own culture today.
Research was taken from the websites of the Cornell lab of ornithology and Hinterland Who Who's and several essays already written about the Gray Jay under the "Learn more" tab. I believe this candidate species contains everything we need for our national bird.

I agree with what Dr. Bird said on CBC this morning. The Grey Jay (WhiskeyJack) is found throughout Canada. It is a hardy bird that encompasses many qualities of Canadians; intelligent, friendly, adaptable.

I vote for the Grey Jay, aka Canada Jay, aka Whiskey Jack (perisoreus canadensis). The name whiskey jack derives from the Cree weesahkajak or possibly whistkatjan. Canada is right in the name so very fitting!

Great friendly bird, found throughout Canada. Doesn't venture too much into the states.

Over the years I have read many stories about Canada, wilderness, exploration and always the Gray Jay or Whiskey Jack has been in these stories. A little bird with a big heart with a distinctive song. Problem is this bird is not the obvious choice which should actually make it the obvious choice. Thanks! and Go Gray Jay Go!

Only makes sense to choose this bird.

THE Canadian Bird - what else is this representative. Like the rest of Canadians it knows when you need to cuddle up in the cold and start a family - mid-February.

I would suggest Canada's national bird needs to be a ubiquitous species with characteristics that are "Canadian". Must live and let live, be an agreeable companion, take good care of offspring, work hard, save for tomorrow, handle winters well.

The scheming conservationist in me also wants to support a species that is in decline due to anthropogenic impacts like climate change and habitat degradation, as this may focus national attention on our environment, which is being neglected.

The gray jay fits the bill. a little unsung, he's a friendly companion in camp and on canoe trips, thrives in boreal habitats that other species can't endure, has many cool adaptations (including food caching) and despite being a survivor and clever corvid living in some of the most intact landscapes in the country, the species is in decline partly because of our addiction to fossil fuel.

This morning I was listening to News1130 on the radio. A Dr. Bird spoke quite eloquently on the merits of choosing the Gray Jay as Canada's national bird. This arguments included the fact that the bird lives in all Provinces and Territories of Canada, it has not been adopted as any other Provincial bird unlike the snowy owl and the loon. In addition, there is no controversy in this choice, unlike the Canada goose which is being culled in the US.

The Gray Jay is celebrated in First Nationals culture.

I have seen the Gray Jay at Chilco Lake and it is a very bright engaging bird, that will fly down from the trees to get close to you.

I think it is the perfect choice!

I don't have an essay in mind, but I do have a thought to share. I figure this little box is also for that.

The Gray Jay finds itself in a bit of a pickle... regional climate change in its southern habitats are warming enough that these feisty Jays are having a hard time keeping their larder stocked and cold through unproductive, insect-free winters.

The Loon is already on our money, already a provincial bird, and has had a wonderful surge of cottagers across Canada creating nesting platforms and encouraging habitat creation for these beautiful birds.

I'm from Ontario, and had never seen a Gray Jay until I moved to the NWT. However my older brother remembers seeing Gray Jays growing up, visiting Algonquin Park. The rapid change in temperature requirements for these lovely birds is alarming.

The Gray Jay deserves this title. It needs the boost in popularity. If the Gray Jay is chosen, it will be killing more than two birds with one stone (seriously, I never kill any birds with stones). People will get to know this mischievous creature, and become more aware of the effects of climate change, and with any luck, will encourage people to reduce their GHG emissions, or at least help the Gray Jay out somehow.

Thank you.

Dr. David Bird convinced me with his arguments.

An amazing and resilient bird, the Canada Jay is by far one of the most loyal and steadfast of our nations overall bird species. The Canadian Jay or Whisky Jack, like the majority of Canadians are very friendly. At times, the Grey will even sit on your finger and eat seed from your hand.

While the Canada Jay may not be the largest or most colorful of birds nesting in Canada, they are adaptive, hardy and a thriving bunch... much like the typical Canadian.

Rance Bueckert

The gray jay is Canada's friendliest bird from sea to sea to sea. Wherever you go in Canada's wilds, there's one there to keep you company, fluttering and hopping along through the trees and across the tundra beside you, ever curious and always ready to partake of whatever you may care to offer it. The gray jay is without question the most charming and endearing bird Canada has.

Dr Bird's arguments convinced me.

A bird like no other.

It's got character, charm, and good looks.

It's smart, savvy and super-special, just like Canada.

It's a northern species, just like a Canadian.

There is not debate. It's Canada's bird.

Full stop.

I agree with Dr. David Bird.

I heard a conversation on the radio this morning about the Gray Jay and agree we should have a National Bird with an unique history in Canada. I had never heard of the Gray Jay before but because it is a friendly bird and not a raptor like the Bald Eagle it makes sense to have it as a Canadian symbol.

Good Luck to the Royal Canadian Geographical Society with getting Canada its own National Bird.

I have read and heard so many First Nations stories featuring Weesageechak (including Joseph Boyden's Three Day Road and Wayland Drew's Halfway Man) that this whiskey jack has always seemed like an enigma to me. Until last week, when I was packing out a winter trip in Algonquin Park and three of these beautiful, intelligent birds decided to join us. I love the chickadee tree of our local conservation area, but having this beautiful bird eat from my hand held a whole new level of awe for me. The "tricksters" teased me and managed to evade a photograph, but I will never forget that first realization of their intelligent eyes and I will definitely be on the lookout in the future.
For the reasons other people have said below and so many more, I believe that this is the perfect bird to represent Canada!

I love this bird. It's so smart and has a lot of personality.

Espèce exclusive à l'Amérique du Nord.

Sa répartition est très majoritairement au Canada.

L'espèce est présente dans les 10 provinces et 3 territoires canadiens.

Son nom latin spécifique est canadensis.

Son nom français (et son ancien nom anglais)inclut le nom du Canada.

Listened to Dr Bird on a local radio station CKNW this morning and after checking out the society's website I'm voting in favour of the Gray Jay! I do love the name Whiskey Jack though as that's the name I'm most familiar with!

very good choice and shows us as a friendly modest and welcoming….

Canada wide species.

I am voting for the Gray Jay because as others have written
- it is a full time Canadian bird, and not found throughout other countries
- isn't already provincially designated,
- recognised by Aboriginals and French communities which is part of our culture
- shows many characteristics of the Canadian - friendly, curious, smart, hardy and adaptable

I agree with David M. Bird, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Ornithology, McGill University

It's smart, it's friendly, it's all-Canadian, doesn't migrate south, and it's as yet unclaimed - sounds like a slam-dunk.

As a field geologist working in Precambrian Shield of northern Saskatchewan, I will always remember this pesky jay and the common loon. But as a true Canadian bird, I believe the Whiskey Jack should be recognised for many of its traits. First of it its friendliness and curiosity. Second its wide range and staying in the true north. And third it is of the crow family and very smart.

It can be found in all the provinces and territories of Canada. It is a hardy, cold-tolerant bird that lives in Canada year-round. It lives in Canada's taiga, one of our largest biomes. It is not yet the bird of any other province of territory.

The Gray Jay and I have had many wonderful encounters over the years as I've hiked many of Alberta mountain parks and to have these brave little birds come and check out my person and lunch always makes for a memorable trip. The fact that these birds do not migrate and are common throughout most of Canada makes them the perfect candidate. They may not be brilliantly colored but they certainly are a beautiful bird.

I remember it as the Whiskey Jack

I love their friendliness and I always remember them coming to our car while we shared our lunch with them in the mountains.

The Grey Jay or "Whiskeyjack" as I know it is a bold little bird, never afraid to almost come right up to me when I'm feeding the birds during visits to home in N. Ontario.

Our favourite Canadian representative.
Sighted in and from a variety of environments, land and sea, across Canada.

A winter bird, lives across all of Canada.

I enjoy seeing this bird year round on the ski trails and hiking in the mountains.

The Canada Jay is found in all parts of Canada and that makes it very representative. The name (with Canada included) also makes it a good choice. The name Gray Jay is seldom heard in the Maritimes, prefer the name Canada Jay.
The Canada Jay is found here summer and winter, like most hearty Canadians.

The "whiskey jack". Also formerly known as the Canada Jay, personifies Canadians. It is not brightly colored but it it's beautiful if you look carefully. Very friendly and smart, a true ambassador to those skiing or hiking in our national parks.

In terms of geographic extent, and year-round availability, the Gray jay is uniquely and wholly Canadian. It is a common and friendly bird, bountiful in numbers, and easily distinguished both by sight and sound.

Found throughout Canada year round, this friendly and familiar bird is innovative and hardy. It is not well distributed elsewhere, though is a very familiar bird to most Canadians. We should not choose as a National Bird any species that we would have to "share", meaning any species that does not spend the winter months here, or is abundant at any time of year in non-Canadian jurisdictions. This rationale rules out the loon and any of the miggrant songbirds. My second choice after the Gray Jay would be the Boreal Owl, but it is not well known, and extremely seldom seen, so most Canadians would not identify with it.

I don't understand why so many voters are choosing the Common loon and the Snowy owl, when both have been long established as official birds of Ontario and Quebec, respectively. Why not leave them in place and choose a new bird that represents all of the provinces and territories of Canada? As for the Canada goose, do we really want a bird that many folk, inside and outside of Canada, regard as highly obnoxious to the point that some countries are culling or translocating them? The Common loon only spends one third of the year in Canada and the Snowy owl is circumpolar, found in many other northern countries around the world. As for the Black-capped chickadee, the bird is as common and plentiful in the U.S.A. as it is in Canada. And this species is not found in our largest territory, Nunavut.

The Gray Jay is also known as the Canada Jay. It is a social bird found across the country.

A good choice for national bird for all the reasons that Dr. Bird has evinced.

Thank you.

The Whiskey Jack is the best choice for Canada's national bird. It's a hardy little bird with big personality that lives almost exclusively in the boreal forest. Unlike its wimpier competitors (The loon, the Canada Goose, or the Great Blue Heron) the Grey Jay stays put in this fine country.

Also, the connection to the Cree spirit of mischief is pretty neat.


Found across Canada, and almost exclusively in Canada. alternate name is Canada Jay.

For me it was a difficult decision between the Grey Jay and the Raven. In the end the Grey Jay, formally known as Canada Jay and still bearing the specific scientific name "canadensis", should be the winner. Friendly, quiet, unassuming, hardy. It just goes about it's business doing amazing things without a lot of fuss or noise. There aren't many birds that start nesting when temperatures are well below zero & snow still deep on the ground!

I've taken up birding with a passion over the past four years, and while a number of the front runners are wonderful birds, I think the the honour should go to a bird that is more wholly Canadian - the Gray Jay!

The Loon is already holds a provincial bird designation. The Canada Goose, while already associated with Canada, is a migratory bird, as is the Snowy Owl, and spend months in the States.

Here's to the Gray Jay!

Gray Jays are found in every province and territory. They are friendly, intelligent, and work hard to survive the long, tough winters here.

I associate the gray jay with camping in Algonquin Park. They are a friendly bird, beautiful to watch.

Out in the woods of norther Alberta fighting forest fires, these little beggars used to steal my half eaten piece of toast in the morning when I reached for my coffee cup. Cheeky things!

The Gray Jay is the clear choice for all the reasons others have already spoken of. Who wants a raptor or a messy bird to represent our vast land? Nor should Provincial birds be allowed in this National competition. Chose wisely

I Agree with everything that David M. Bird has to say. I would add that of all the current voting leaders it is the only one that neither leaves Canada for the Winter nor has a larger home territory in other Countries. The Canada Jay truly is the most Canadian of all bird species.

The article in the Globe and Mail swayed my vote. Go Gray Jay!

Stays in Canada all year does not migrate. Likes people and is very friendly.

Smart, friendly, gentle, and are hardy with stick-to-it ness......just like Canadians. We love, enjoy and celebrate all seasons!

A bird found in every province and Territory.

The Gray jay provides many good memories when in cottage country - a part of Canada that is emblematic of our culture.

Le mésangeai vit partout et majoritairement au Canada , c'est un oiseau intelligent qui se montre très confiant envers les humains. C'est toujours un plaisir de l'observer , ce qui est très facile puisqu'il n'hésite pas à venir à notre rencontre.
Je crois que son côté sociable représente bien les canadiens.

I think the grey jay most epitomizes the characteristics of Canada and Canadians and it hasn't already been chosen as a provincial bird elsewhere

Loon is taken-Ontario
Snowey is taken-Quebec
The Canada Jay is a good choice because it resides all over our great country.If some province has this intelligent bird as it's provincial bird, then my second choice would be a unique Canadian bird that resides in all 13 provinces and territories.This will take some research.
Thank You

Dr. Bird is absolutely correct!'s a dude who knows his birds!....let's not get swayed by sentimental, obvious and romantic notions. The Gray Jay is PERFECT to 'represent' Canada!

The Canada Jay has visited many of the camps I have taken Scouting youth on and is often the first bird on there list of wildlife they have seen for there badge work. You know you are in the woods when a Canada Jay visit your camp.

This species is intelligent and friendly.

Le Mésangeai du Canada semble le meilleur choix puisqu'on le retrouve partout au Canada (1er critère). Le 2e critère très important à mon avis, il ne représente pas déjà une province canadienne. Et moi aussi je pense qu'il devrait être renommé "Geai du Canada" ou "Canada Jay".

They are found nation-wide, are friendly, and even featured in a Stan Rogers song (totally adds to its street cred!)!

The Gray Jay should definitely be our national bird.

For reasons listed by Dr. Bird, a prof at campus during my undergrad

Year-round resident whose range is all of Canada. This bird has a bold and winning personality and is very attractive, too. Not an urban bird, it is still easy to encounter by anyone who goes into the forests and mountains, so is a great representative of the wild lands that we all love.

I choose the whiskey jack because is is mostly found only in Canada and is found country wide though the seasons

The Gray Jay exemplifies the Canadan spirit. I would also like my daughter to see the Boreal Forests outlast her lifetime. This bird is an perfect representative of our national spirit.

In those quintessential wilderness areas of the Canadian shield, where spruce, lake, bog, and rock predominate, you find the grey jay, or whiskey jack. Better yet, for a national symbol, the grey jay is also known as the Canada jay.

A great choice, as proposed by David Bird. It's so distinctly Canadian, and a great bird.

J'ai beaucoup aimé le commentaire du Dr Bird à ce sujet et j'abonde dans son sens.

A friendly, clever and industrious bird it exemplifies the qualities that Canadians should have.

I completely agree with David M. Bird,Emeritus Professor of Ornithology,
McGill University.

J'ai choisi le Mésangeai du Canada parce qu'il représente bien l'ensemble du pays, cet oiseau est très intelligent, bien adapté au froid et à son habitat. Il ne migre pas et demeurent ici et il survit très bien dans la forêt boréale, un immense écosystème pour la faune aviaire. Également, il vient facilement au devant des utilisateurs de la forêt pour nous accompagner un moment tout en espérant avoir un peu de nourriture. Je considère qu'il serait le meilleur oiseau emblème.

I like his points. Plus The Loon is already Ontario's provincial bird and I don't want to share :p

The GRAY jay is a wonderfully friendly and resilient character we have enjoyed watching in northern Ontario. My father taught us to call"whiskey, whiskey" to summon the GRAY jays to the leftover breakfast toast we threw up on the wood pile for them!

I've picked the Gray Jay for our National bird as it spends all its time in Canada .... sticks it out in all kinds of most of us Canadians.

The gray jay is an intelligent, sociable bird with an outstanding reputation among Canadians that have known it across the country, but no recognition. As an unsung dynamo with an unforgettable personality, it is the ideal bird to hold its own as an indigenous species and represent Canada as a country like no other.

Son nom porte son titre Mésangeai du Canada

We need a bird that lives across the country and is not considered a pest at home or abroad.

The Grey Jay or Whiskey Jack is a friendly bird. They live in Canada all year long. They are curious and clever. Since they live here year round they must prepare for the winter just like the rest of us here. They store food in the winter months. I think these characteristics are like many Canadians.

A wonderful friendly bird worthy of recognition as Canada's National bird. plus it is also known as the Canada Jay - much better name than the Grey/Gray Jay.

They are adorable, adaptable, friendly, and range across the country.

Je vote pour le mésangeai du Canada car il est un oiseau de toute beauté et tellement intelligent.

The Grey Jay (Canada Jay/Whiskey Jack) is found everywhere in the back country of Canada, and seems to find human visitors to the wilderness faster than any other bird or creature, especially in the winter. This species is smart, friendly, bold and attractive, even though a beggar by nature. One will even land in your outstretched hand if proffered a peanut or other attractive snack. Only chickadees will also do that.

I first learned about the Gray Jay when reading Dr. Bird's article. I encourage all to read this.

My only regret is that I have not yet seen a Gray Jay (as far as I know). I look forward to having that opportunity. Since I live in Windsor, Ontario I think I'll have to travel a little further North, and keep my eyes open.

I commend Dr. Bird for his interesting article.

I agree with David Bird on the charter of the gray jay. It brought back memorys of my son and I hiking in Mount Assinaboine. On the trail were 3 gray jays. We put some trail mix in our hand and before you know it they were on our hand taking the nuts. Got a couple great pictures.

Definitely the Canada Jay, otherwise known as the Grey Jay, or heaven forfend, the Gray Jay. The Canada Jay is found all across the country, and, typically Canadian, it is friendly and cheerful, and a good neighbour. The Loon is taken and we'd have to decide which one of the species which we have in Canada. The Canada Goose is a scavenging creator of filth, despised by all who suffer from its waste.

Definitely the Canada Jay, otherwise known as the Grey Jay, or heaven forfend, the Gray Jay. The Canada Jay is found all across the country, and, typically Canadian, it is friendly and cheerful, and a good neighbour. The Loon is taken and we'd have to decide which one of the species which we have in Canada. The Canada Goose is a scavenging creator of filth, despised by all who suffer from its waste.

I love the call of the loon when at our cottage and the snowy owl is a beautiful bird. However my vote goes for the Gray jay for all the reasons cited by David Bird, Janice Cross and many others. It is a handsome bird and truly represents our country. Also it does not seem fair that the loon or snowy owl should represent both a province and the country. The Canada goose is way too messy a bird to be our representative. I would not like to think that the world views Canada and Canadians as messy.

J'ai choisi le Mésangeai du Canada parce qu'il représente bien l'ensemble du pays, cet oiseau est très intelligent, bien adapté au froid et à son habitat. Il ne migre pas et demeurent ici et il survit très bien dans la forêt boréale, un immense écosystème pour la faune aviaire. Également, il vient facilement au devant des utilisateurs de la forêt pour nous accompagner un moment tout en espérant avoir un peu de nourriture. Je considère qu'il serait le meilleur oiseau emblème. (Par Denis Desjardins)

I thought about the loon and the Canada goose, but the gray jay has a special place in my heart. I first encountered these curious, intelligent, and playful birds when we would go camping as kids in Kananaskis Country. Every morning, they would hang around our campsite as we cooked breakfast, eagerly awaiting some tasty bacon scraps. I recently came across one again at Herbert Lake this past fall - he would fly down from the trees and land at my feet to eat some bread crumbs that someone had left, tilting his head inquisitively as he looked up at me. Someone else wrote in their essay that you never forget your first time seeing a gray jay, and it is true. You can't help but be delighted when you are lucky enough to come across one, and I would be proud to have this uniquely Canadian species as our national bird.

J'ai choisi le Mésangeai du Canada parce qu'il représente bien l'ensemble du pays, cet oiseau est très intelligent, bien adapté au froid et à son habitat. Il ne migre pas et demeurent dans nos fôret toute l'année, il survit très bien dans la forêt boréale, cet un immense écosystème pour la faune aviaire.
Également, il vient facilement au devant des utilisateurs de la forêt pour nous accompagner un certain moment tout en espérant avoir un peu de nourriture. Je considère qu'il est le meilleur oiseau emblème pour le Canada.

National range. All-year residence. Smart team players (watch them raid a camp site, taking turns foraging and taking look-out roles). Energetic and hardy. Will likely withstand environmental change.

I'd prefer a raptor, but none fit all of these "must have" profile traits.

The Gary jay is smart, winter hardy, inhabits the boreal forest and not aggressive. Can be found in all provinces. And it is gentle and beautiful! So Canadian.

oiseau résidant au Canada et adapte à la forêt boréale. Familier avec les randonneurs.

Two really smart birds are the Gray Jay and the Raven. Both would have my vote as a national bird, the first because of its friendliness, bravery and my experiences having it alight upon my hands and the crown of my head to see raisins I had placed there while we were taking a break during a cross country skiing adventure in Manning Park in B.C.. The second has my vote because of its wily intelligence, standoffishness and deep history as a trickster character in various Aboriginal myths, legends and beliefs. so you cannot get any deeper than that in the history of human population on this land called Canada. Canadians are not a large population, we are northern and it takes all the smarts one can muster to survive and thrive in this harsh land and to be part of the chaotic community of humankind in the world. Smart birds that fly fast, are equally and democratically friendly or leary of all humans regardless of origins, race or religion, and that sing or squawk as necessary to assert themselves would be good aspirational symbols of Canada.The world could with more tricksters that laugh at our follies, but this good natured laughter , like the fools in Shakespeare's plays, is more vital to our survival than all the high minded ideological seriousness by armed bands of rogues that seem to dominate today's news headlines. May these song birds deepen our appreciation of nature upon which all of humanity ultimately depends.

David Bird nails it.

I like that it is not a raptor, and stays in Canada all year, and is not a provincial bird already. I like that it is friendly, smart, and gray, kind of like Canadians. I like that it is also known as a Whiskey Jack. I like whiskey.

It is the cheekiest of birds. It is native to the boreal forest which is central to our Canadian identity. Grey and nondescript it is always ready to accept a hand out much like the residents of the have-not provinces (including Ontario). I remember one stealing a sandwich when I was cross country Skiing in the Rockies.

According to Hinterland Who's Who: "The Gray Jay is indelibly associated with Canada’s great northern forests. Quick to learn that humans can be an excellent source of food, the Gray Jay often visits lumber camps, kills made by hunters, and the campsites of canoeists, looking for scraps of anything edible. The bird’s fearless and venturesome behaviour has amused and irked those who work in the forest and earned it many colloquial names such as “meat-bird” and “camp-robber”. Another familiar name, “whiskey-jack”, was taken from Wiskedjak, Wisagatcak, Wisekejack, or other variations of a word used in the Algonquian family of aboriginal languages of eastern Canada to designate a mischievous, transforming spirit who liked to play tricks on people. The Gray Jay is thus the only Canadian bird for which a name of aboriginal derivation has been commonly used in English. Perhaps sadly, whiskeyjack and the former English name of Canada Jay are both passing into disuse as more and more Canadians grow up with the present official English name of Gray Jay."

That said, the Canada Jay (or the Gray Jay if you prefer)is the perfect candidate for our National Bird. They are found everywhere in Canada (and a bit in the U.S. - just like us), is not endangered, does not migrate and is friendly to boot! Being gray, it may seem unassuming but in reality this bird bears qualities I admire: resilience, hardiness and friendliness - traits attributed worldwide to Canadians - AND the bird can sing. What's not to like!!

Un oiseau qui ne migre pas. Que lon retrouve dans tout le canada. Qui est sympatique et sociable comme nous les canadiens. Un oiseau qui nest pas en voie d'extinction. Cest le plus representatif de notre pays!

I'm voting for this bird as it is a full-time resident (winter/summer) of the country, with a wide geographical distribution across all provinces and territories and therefore can be said to represent the entire country, as opposed to species with a more limited range. It is not currently a territorial or provincial bird, which I think is an advantage. Gray jays, like other members of the crow/jay family are intelligent and can be quite friendly and adaptableall good Canadian qualities. They are also provident as they store food for the winter months. In addition, no one shoots at them as nuisances/birds that prey on farm animals, as food (and I have no objections to people eating what they hunt: I just believe that it may not be appropriate with a national symbol) or for any other reason. Finally, the species name is 'canadensis', or 'of Canada', which to me says 'pick this one'.

Quiet, unassuming and always friendly, the Gray Jay, formerly known as the Canada Jay is the bird that typifies Canadians.

this was brought to our attention by the Globe & Mail. The fact that the Gray Jay is found throughout Canada makes it helped me make my decision. Thank you for the opportunity to participate

Perfect bird for Canada

I love the friendly nature of the Gray Jay and its resourcefulness. Most especially I support a National bird that is a song bird represented in all Provinces and Territories.

I have to agree that naming an already provincial bird as our national bird would not be a good idea. I also agree with the Gray Jay's friendliness and visitors will remember their encounters with them as part of their trip to Canada. I can just hear the visitors saying...I went to Canada and the people were so friendly...even the birds are friendly!! Besides all of that it is one of the smartest birds and nest in the winter. It does everything it can to survive. I would say that they do represent what Canada is.

My first couple of choices are already provincial or territorial birds so I'm going with the Gray jay.

Its not the showiest of birds, and maybe not the best known bird but in reading Dr Bird's essay and doing some research online I think the fact that the Gray Jay is found in all 10 provinces allows for everyone to have an opportunity to enjoy our Canadian bird and for all to be proud. It's the smartest bird on the planet, extremely friendly, not a nuisance like many birds, not a hunter, a peaceful friendly bird and it is very hardy and handles the cold climate very well. Isn't that a great descriptions of Canadians?

David Bird said it all!

Gray Jay - Perisoreus canadensis and previously called Canada Jay. This intelligent, friendly, trusting but mischievous jay is associated with the North and the Boreal forests throughout Canada in every province and territory. They are loyal to their family, wonderful providers for there offspring and are known to adjust to vocalize with a variety of calls (multilingual). These birds were so appreciated by early trappers, explorers as a bright part of the day relieving the loneliness of wilderness living with there tame and friendly behaviour and always a welcome sight.

Intelligent, resourceful, personable. Friendly. Caches food to,prepare for winter. What's not to like? This bird is as Canadian as it gets.

(For that matter, many corvids would get my vote. The raven is a great choice too.)

The loon? Really? It's alreadt Ontario's bird. It is not found in all regions. And while it's iconic as well, its name unfortunately would draw some derision.

Go with a corvid!

I like that Dr. Bird likes it. Nice bird often seen in the winter at Blackette's lake

It truly represents Canada's wilderness.It is a bird that inhabits the wilderness year round. The grey jay is an intelligent bird, very attractive and friendly.It is always welcome when out in woods on a boil-up,skiing,snowshoeing and hiking trips.

The Gray Jay is a bird that can be found in all provinces of Canada. They are common in places that Canadians like to go. Camp sites and hiking in the woods. Their range is not extensive in the US.

What could be more Canadian than a creature that is friendly, lives here year round, breeds in the winter and is unassuming.
The fact that it has adapted coast to coast and is resourceful should make this wonderful bird an obvious choice.

Friendly bird is the key.

I'm a Fish and wildlife student in my second year of studying and I've have the chance to study and be able to see and experience many different types of birds actually out in the wild. And after reading Dr. Birds article on the Gray Jay I couldn't agree more with his statements. The loon is typical and everyone already knows it. The Canada goose is just annoying and literally s***s everywhere. The gray jay would be a nice choice.

A Canadian bird that doesn't migrate, is well adapted to the Cold climate, is curious, cheeky and fun to have around.

Whisky Jacks, as already mentioned, are mainly a Canadian bird (the one criticism I would have for the Black Capped Chickadee or Raven as candidates - their ranges are as much in the U. S. as in Canada). They are a bush bird, loving forested land, cheeky and cheerful in the coldest, snowiest weather. Their courting/nesting season is mid-winter (no joke in February in their northern range - here in the north Peace temperatures of -20 degrees C. or lower are virtually routine) yet there are always fledglings "on deck" by the end of March. Only some owls nest so early in the year. They have impeccable feeder manners (Canadian politeness?), gathering or eating what they want - which, here, is fat and dried cat food - then flying off to go about their business, unlike their Blue Jay cousins who generally set up camp beside the feeders all day and interfer with everyone else. In short, they exemplify much that Canadians wish to sese in themselves.

David Bird got all the reasons why they grey jay should be our national bird. This is not just a compromise because the other candidates are already claimed as provincial official birds (although that is a plus). It's a bird of character, and one that people across the country can know and support.

when we were young growing up, my Dad called the Grey Jay a "Canadian Jay". Maybe my Dad in his wisdom knew that this bird would be the official " Canadian" bird way back in the 70's.

I grew up in the Thunder Bay area. Although we knew the Whiskey Jack, that was a nickname. We were told that the 'proper' name was 'Canada Jay'. The grey jay was a southern Ontario popular name. Canada Jay was the first name that came to mind when I saw this article. Regards ... JOHN

BTW My Dad participated in the annual bird count for at least 30 years.

The Canada jay has several Canadian traits i enjoy:
You often see them in pairs.
They are a friendly bird, very approachable.
They are not loud-mouths like their blue cousins, but quiet, hopping from branch to branch, just having a look around.
They seem to enjoy camping as well, often coming over from their site for a visit.
They are mentioned in a Stan Rogers song, albeit as a nasty cabin fever passtime.
I like whyskey and the whyskey nickname they have.
They get my vote.

Grey Jay, formerly known as the Canada Jay is found in all parts of Canada. A strong and Friendly bird like Canadians.

I am a Canadian living in the US. Its about time... We need a bird :)

A year-round resident found in all provinces and territories, not threatened, trusting nature... Need we say more?

The Whiskey Jack is the perfect Canadian! It can withstand cold winters, it's intelligent, it's resourceful, and it's charismatic! Canada is known for it's beautiful outdoors, and very seldom will a person be alone in it ... Because a Grey Jay will always bring you company. Even though it is often using it's charm to score some food, it's rarely considered a pest. It is a welcome visitor! Just like Canadians ... It's kind and warm energy radiates to those around it.

The Hinterland Who's Who tells us that the Gray Jay also known as the Canada Jay or the whiskey-jack based on the Algonguin word wiskedjack, is part of both the jay and crow family. And as the only bird with a name of Aboriginal derivation,
this jay and crow combination makes it an ideal candidate for our national bird. As the crow, it's strongly represented in our First Nation myths, religion and traditions. As the Canada Jay, it's found from coast to coast, in all provinces and territories, from the northern tree line down to farm country with Canada in it's name and reach. Please take some time to consider this wonderful bird and if you can, listen to it's sounds and calls on line.

I am indecisive between the snowy owl and the whisky jack. I choose the whisky jack because of his good attitude and he's the only wild bird that will sit beside me as long as I have a slice of bread in my hand. They are also very amazing to watch in fight. If the Grey jay should win, we should have a portrait of him in fight.

Memes are aweseome! Very excited to make new memes about this bird (when it is chosen)! The gray jay is just so beautiful, sweet, kind, an invibile hero in our society. Reminds me of my cat (I would tag a picture but I don't think this function is available). My cat is canadian, and I have been informed by the citizens of my house that this bird is a GREAT representation of our powerful nations population. Now onto the topic of Dr.Bird. He is a lovely man a family friend! He used to live down the street from my terrific grandmother Sheila Semmelman (I'm sure he'd remember her, she makes quite the impression) and I love him. I'm not not going to mention the fact that I was peir pressured by my mother, but in all honestly, I was. Anyway, as Wayne Howell from Fort Eerie says, the gray jay has been "referred to as the woodmans friend". Alright I'm done for today! - a gray jay fan, Alison Elliott

Stays here year-round, sociable, intelligent, wide distribution in Canada. Also I love some of the stories from others, particularly the Quebec logger who raised one.

The gray jay is a great choice because it is tough through the winter and is mainly found in Canada. Even the First Nations have a name for it, The Whiskey Jack, The French people call it the Mesangeai du Canada. It also is in every province of Canada. It is a very common bird and is not endangered so we don't worry about extinction. I believe the First Nations story how the bird was originally just a white bird and needed a coat because of the winters, just like us Canadians so they gave him a grey coat and stayed through the winter.

The gray jay is a great choice because it is tough through the winter and is mainly found in Canada. Even the First Nations have a name for it, The Whiskey Jack, The French people call it the Mesangeai du Canada. It also is in every province of Canada. It is a very common bird and is not endangered so we don't worry about extinction. I believe the First Nations story how the bird was originally just a white bird and needed a coat because of the winters, just like us Canadians so they gave him a grey coat and stayed through the winter.

Smart bird that doesn't migrate south and lives in all provinces sounds pretty great. Also gray jays are super cute.

I read the article in the Friday Globe and Mail edition and voting for the Gray jay makes sense. This bird is my choice!

One amazing June some years ago, I enjoyed an amazing weekend hiking with friends in the pre-Summer beauty of Strathcona Park on Vancouver Island. The lakes were dazzling, the beer was flowing, and the whiskey jacks (ie. Grey Jays) were petitioning... entertaining us, landing on us, and even eating food out of one guy's mouth.

Having grown up on the west coast I've seen many fantastic birds, but these brilliant creatures were the first and only to make such a lasting impression on me. Canada Geese just shit everywhere, and the only place I've ever seen a loon is on currency. But Whiskey Jacks (Grey Jays) are clever, friendly, ubiquitous (in Canada) birds that are great enough to almost make me want to go find them, just for their company. No other bird has had even close to that sort of effect on me. If I'm to give half a damn about a 'National Bird' for Canada, it's the Grey Jay or nothing.

I have no essay to enter, I have only unforgettable imagined and real sound and visual memories of the Whiskey Jack in Northern of Lake Superior, Ontario during my childhood.

Professor Bird makes an excellent case for the grey jay. A perfect choice

The Gray Jay or Whiskeyjack is commonly found throughout most of Canada and often in pristine forest conditions. It is a very friendly bird and will often eat nuts or related foods from a persons hand, if they are patient enough.

Any Canadian that spends time hiking in the boreal forests will recognize and have affinity for this friendly bird (also known as the Canada Jay or Whiskey Jack). They exhibit Canadian-like qualities in their easy-going, trusting, and fun nature. Whenever you happen across them, they will greet you with happy chirps and fluttering wings, dancing in the air for you waiting to land on your shoulder, hand, head, or even chin to grab a tasty morsel... and yet, I know no one that would consider them a pest. What a delight to head out on a hike and get a chance to hold a wild bird in your hand!

Let's cast off the norms (loons and geese) and vote for something that exhibits only positive character traits of Canadians.

I'd be proud to call the Gray Jay / Canada Jay / Whiskey Jack our national bird!

I agree with all of Dr David Bird's reasons.

I hike in Banff National Park all the time and have the pleasure of being accompanied by the Grey Jay or maybe it is the other way around. It is a tough bird that represents a survival spirit.

Clever, gregarious, adventurous, grey jays are highly charismatic birds emblematic of our boreal nature. Strong in personality, but not overwhelmingly showy, the grey jay is Canada.

I have helped former naturalist Dan Strickland band the Gray (Canada) Jays in Algonquin Park. It is a very friendly bird and will land in your hand for a handout. It takes the food and stores it under bark so that it has enough to eat in our cold, snowy winters. A very resourceful bird, like all Canadians! It is found from coast to coast so should be considered as Canada's national bird.

I like the fact that this bird lives in every province.

As a year-round bird that can be found all over Canada that is also very beautiful and intelligent, I feel that the Gray Jay is a perfect fit as Canada's national bird. How about deciding not to choose a bird that we commonly think of when we think of Canada, like the loon or the Canadian goose. Why not choose one that we don't always think of and one which we can explore further and for which we can develop a greater appreciation?
I remember sitting on the porch of my camp in the bush, throwing some sort of food for the birds onto the ground and watching the whiskey jacks (gray jays) come. More and more whiskey jacks came and it was so amazing! I enjoyed it so much! Now that I think about it, it seems like a true Canadian memory. A camp (cabin), the bush, the whiskey jacks all very Canadian.

Known to me in the mid Ontario north as the whiskey jack, or even the meat bird, as the loggers called it, as it would swoop down trying to steal some bits of your sandwich at lunch in the bush. Friendly , native and a survivor of our winters, its silent flitting around on a cold winter day was an inspiration from the winter blues.
Add a second vote for my wife as well.

Any bird that had Whiskey in it's name has my vote :-)

My father, Jack, named our waterski boat "Whiz-Ski-Jack". I named my wonderful, beloved sled dog Wiisakayjac, after the Native Spirit, the Trickster. Later on, I named my cottage Whiskey Jack Lodge, after the lovely birds that would float in and grace me with their presence. I love most living things, and am very fond of loons, ravens, cedar waxwings, Canada geese, etc., but I'd be happy to have the Whiskey Jack as Canada's national bird.

Whis-key-jack! Whis-key-jack!

I am a Canadian by birth and spent many summers in Algonquin Park. I love the sound of the loon but remember the Gray Jays around our campfires begging for food. They are entertaining little guys and as the Loon already has the honor of being on the money and being the Provincial bird of Ontario, I think the Gray Jay needs a little recognition, so it gets my vote.
I agree with Dr Bird

The true Canadian bird should range over most of the country, and stay here for the winter that eliminates the Loon & the Canada goose although I do like both of those choices. The Gray Jay meets the above criteria, and I chose it because of its engaging character. It always brings a welcome, comforting presence in our woods, a character that truly represents the Canadian nature.

The Gray Jan is a smart, friendly bird. It's found all across the country and it doesn't migrate, which tells us it's resourceful and hardy, just like us. It's also not anyone's provincial bird, unlike the loon, which has been claimed by Ontario. You hardly ever see the Gray Jan south of the border, which makes it very Canadian indeed.

After all one of its other names is Canada Jay and most of its breeding range is in Canada and extends cost to coast to coast encompassing the entire country. It is gregarious in a slightly shy way, much like many Canadians.

I agree with other submissions that we should not duplicate birds which already have been chosen provincially. David Bird's essay is excellent and I agree that the Mésangeai du Canada, whose range is broad across our beautiful big country, should be our national bird!

I believe this is the right bird for our national bird.

I have encountered these birds in Labrador , Nova Scotia and in British Columbia. Truly a national bird. They tolerate cold weather like true Canadians.

Friendly year round resident from sea to sea to sea.

il est trouvé partout dans la forêt boréale canadienne.

It belongs in Canada, it doesn't migrate. It is a friendly smart and approachable bird.

i believe that our national bird should not be one that is already a provincial bird.i believe the greedy best exemplifies what canada is all about, the fact that the great she is a permanent resident and his beloved by many makes it the best candidate

Dr. Bird made some very compelling points! And when I heard the discussion about the Gray jay on the radio this afternoon it made me laugh. I appreciate anything that makes me laugh. Sounds like a friendly bird and it would represent Canada well!

Dr. Bird made some very compelling points! And when I heard the discussion about the Gray jay on the radio this afternoon it made me laugh. I appreciate anything that makes me laugh. Sounds like a friendly bird and it would represent Canada well!

I think this is one of the most representative birds for Canada, It is the territorial bird of Labrador

The Gray Jay is found almost exclusively in Canada. Perfect for our National Bird.

It is in all provinces and territories,and is not already a provincial or territorial bird (like the loon)

My late wife and I spent every available opportunity to visit and explore the wild places of this wonderful country of ours. The Boreal forests, the high Arctic, the challenging rivers, these places were where we came truly alive. My wife loved the Loon and I have watched her call one in flight to come to where she was standing on the shore.
Although she loved the Loon, our almost constant companion was our fellow Canadian, the Gray jay. We both loved this gentle creature who rarely missed paying us a visit and making us feel welcome ,
I know that she would also vote for this constant friend.
I probably am running out of space, so let me merely echo the most apt comments of Dr. David Bird. The Gray jay it is !!

I read what Dr. Bird has to say as to why the gray jay should be chosen as our national bird. Makes sense to me. I'm from Ontario & have a cottage on Georgian Bay, where I see loons every day. Pretty birds, but kind of boring.

The gray Jay was once known as the Canada Jay, it could be reinstated as an unofficial name. Its range is Canada wide and it holds a place in aboriginal folklore. It does not migrate and makes its home permanently in Canada.

This bird epitomises the Canadian hardiness and friendliness. Brash and yet shy and elusive, friend to winter hikers, yet always willing to help pick up crumbs at the campsite picnic.

I read Dr. Bird's reasons for selecting the Gray Jay as written in the Globe and Mail online. It makes sense to me to choose a bird that is truly Canadian, is in ALL provinces, stays here all year long and is not at risk of becoming extinct.
I also want us to choose a bird that isn't already a provincial bird, or another typical symbol such as the Loon or the Canada Goose - those are the simple, perhaps easy choices.
Let's be unique and have a symbol that truly exemplifies who we are as Canadians - hearty people, loving of our winters, able to live all across our country and be self sufficient and sustainable in any area as we are as people.
I will be interested to see what is selected since I know the Gray Jay won't be the "popular" vote but let's vote for a bird like us!

I know that the Gray Jay, also known as Canada Jay and colloquially in the north where it is most well-no one as the "Whiskey Jack" is not as well known to many "Southern" Canadians. However, I believe it is most representative of our North, which is a cardinal feature of Canada. It is also found further south at Alpine levels. What I like about the Canada Jay in terms of its Canadianness is its gentle nature, its friendliness and its self-reliance it does not mind helping itself to what is in front of it, although not in an aggressive way. It is also often so quiet, flitting about in our quiet boreal forests, that you could miss it until it lands in front of you, eyeing the food you are eating. Altogether, a great Canadian.

It's a drab bird with few distinguishing features, relatively unknown around the world and has little impact on anything of consequence.

The Canada Grey Jay, or as we call them in New Brunswick - the Gorby, is my favorite. It's friendly will come up to you for food. It's pretty and always seems to be here.

Love the way it follows you in the woods, gliding silently through the trees. As others have mentioned, it's also known as 'Whiskey Jack', after the term Wee-sa-kay-jak (sp?), the trickster of Anishanabe mythology. A smart, quietly tricky bird!

I agree with the points in David Bird's essay as to why the Gray Jay should be the choice :D

Grey jays are the best!!

I think it's important to choose a bird who lives through out the country and stays here through the winter. The Grey Jay is a great example of this kid of bird, and is beautiful to look at to boot.

Whatever you choose, just ensure it accurately represents Canada, isn't already an official provincial or territorial bird, and lives here year round.


The Whiskey Jack or Grey Jay is a wonderful bird and would truly represent all of Canada. It is plain and friendly just like most Canadians. That is all. Please vote for Grey Jay!

David Bird convinced me! This is truly a Canadian bird plus they are the friendliest birds on the cross country ski trails here in Alberta.

Excellent points by Dr Bird. Please consider this even if it doesn't win the majority vote due to compelling reasons that mass public may not be aware of.

Very Tough choice! But I love the Whiskeyjacks and David Bird's essay had me sold.

Though they aren't as well-known as other birds, grey jays deserve credit since they are resilient birds, staying here through the harsh winters we often have. They also live throughout our vast nation, showing that they can serve as a national symbol. Their quiet, unassuming appearance echoes one more element of our national culture: quiet humility. They don't stand out at all or have anything some may associate as an ego. Grey jays deserve recognition and to be better-known, something that will easily happen if they receive acknowledgement as our national bird.

The Gray Jay is a perfect choice as it has an amicable nature just like the Canadians it would represent.

I live in what's considered northern Saskatchewan and this is one tough bird. Its young are flying by the end of April so they must be hatching when its still 10-20 below at night. Now that's Canadian.

I like Dr. Bird's choice of a very smart but gentle bird

A highly intelligent member of the corvidea family and your friend in the woods. Perhaps nominating it as the national bird of Canada would persuade the North American Ornithologist's Union to re-instate this bird's former name - Canada Jay !!

When I was young, hiking in a park in BC, I stopped to admire what I learned later was a Gray Jay. Standing perfectly still, we stared at one another for a couple of minutes. Then it swooped right at me. I flinched, it veered off.
I have felt an affinity with Gray Jays ever since. But I also like crows, ravens and magpies which will not make any bodies list of favorites.

I would prefer the grey jay, as it seems it likes to live in Canada most of the time. It also lives across Canada, as long as we do not keep cutting down trees in the forests. It is a little secretive, but friendly, and it does not have any national sports teams named after it.

Gray Jays have a wide range across Canada and are NOT already the emblem of a province. I think it is very important to have a bird nominated that is not already an emblem of a part of this country. Gray Jays do embody the sterotyped attitude of "friendly Canadians" since they are quite curious and intelligent which comes off as being friendly towards humans.

During my university days I spent 4 months working for Abitibi as a timber cruiser which involved walking many miles each day while taking an inventory of the forrest. I observed much in the way of wildlife. To this date I remember one
bird in particular- the gray jay. I was miles from any form of civilization and there were the gray jays who appeared to befriend me to the point that they would eat from my hand. A memorable experience that will last a lifetime. It was in the summer of 1962.

These birds are seemingly in every forest I have hiked in across Canada and always friendly.

Gray jays would be a great original choice for canadas national bird, since it is only really found in canada. Loons and geese are to commonly known in the united states to be unique to canada.

I enjoyed David Bird's columns in the Montreal Gazette for many years, and his essay on the Gray jay makes sense to me!

Non-migrating songbird, found in all 10 provinces! Fantastic choice. A little gray, a little shy....perfect!

Gray/Canada Jay because it is robust, intelligent and friendly.

This bird typifies the Canadian spirit as outlined by Dr. Bird including the way it hangs around with hikers in the woods (a friendly bird or a typical Canadian). Also, the name Canada Jay or even the Whiskey Jack (I wonder if that is Canadian Whiskey) add credence to this being the populr choice.

While the loon and snowy owl are majestic they are aleady provincial birds and being originally from Ottawa valley, there is no need to make Ontario or Quebec feel any more high about themselves by making their provincial bird the national bird.

While the Canada Goose may seem the easiest choice, anyone who has played golf near a resting place of these birds knows how disgusting they can be.

So my vote is for the Gray Jay, which also would represent the aging population of Canada and their grey hair!

The Whiskeyjack as it is more commonly known is present in all provinces and territories of Canada, it is a delightful, kind, and adorable bird. They are extremely smart, no one could call it a bird brain! The Whiskeyjack is also an important figure in many traditional stories for First Nations groups, in particular the Cree. So, not only does it find it self all over Canada, it is also important to non-majority Canadians, which I believe is extremely important.

This bird has all the requirements of a national symbol. It lives all over the country and stays here in winter. It's recognizable and has personality! The loon and many of the other songbirds are in danger of exterminaton not great for a national symbol. A hardy, happy bird that lives and thrives in our great forests, is a perfect choice.

This bird truly encapsulates all parts of what it means to be Canadian.
Friendly, smart, resourceful, and found across the nation. The only criticisms/downsides is that its not super recognizable and its not flashy. To counter those points all I have to say is Canadians have never been a flashy nation of people. We don't go out parading and yelling off rooftops about how great we are all the time. Everyone already knows we're great. Just like the gray jay. It doesn't need colourful plumage to make itself known. Those who truly know it and appreciate it know how valuable and amazing it is. Just like Canadians. Sure, if I were to show someone off the street a picture of a gray jay and ask them to identify it, most wouldn't be able to. But if i told them about its virtues, its character and heart, they would never forget it. If you ask anyone to describe what a Canadian looks like, no two peoples descriptions would be the same. We are a beautiful melting pot of cultures and people. Its our attitude that separates us from any other nation. That's why the gray jay should represent our nation. Its universal appearance represents how you cannot identify a Canadian by looking at him/her, but if you speak to them, and get to know them we all share the same heart. Friendly, outgoing, supportive, resourceful, winter loving and smart the list could go on forever and only the gray jay truly encompasses all of these Canadian characteristics.

I like Gray Jay, because it used to be called Canada Jay and its scientific name is Perisoreus canadensis. It's a bird of the north woods with Canadian character.

We need to put political pressure on the American ornithologists' Union (AOU)by organizations such as yourselves to change the common name back to Canada Jay. The name Gray Jay will never appeal to politicians, whereas Canada Jay would grab their attention. The official change happened in 1957 when the AOU published the checklist. This is the body that sets the standard names for birds, and all ornithological organizations in Canada follow it. Canadians should want the AOU to change the common English name back to what it was and be a true translation of its scientific name - Canada Jay.

You can't pick birds that have already been taken by another province or country. You should inform people of this so that they don't waste their vote.

Love the Gray Jay having encountered and fed them from my hand while visiting awesome Algonquin Park. As well I don't believe any current provincial bird should be eligible, even though I love my provincial bird: Common Loon.

Gray Jay is intelligent, snow lover, sociable and found in every province. He has a Canadian personality! Bird of the forest lovers.

First of all, this species did not ed by any province, state and other country. Breeding across Canada, this keen, vivacious and trustful bird would be a good candidate to represent our country. This gentle-look bird leaves year round in the boreal forest, a natural environment which cover more than half part of Canada. And finally, like first nations and first europeans in Canada, the Gray Jay reveal ingenuity, skill and tenacity to survive in our rough country.

I have seen this bird in Nova Scotia.

I would pick this one after I read the news from Globe and Mail

1. They live in ALL 10 provinces MOSTLY.
2. They don't belong to any provincial / territories bird.
3. They don't even migrate to US in winter, which mean they are brave to cold climate, just like Canadians, even tho we complain once in a while.
4. AND they are not aggressive - very Canadian.

Gray Jay, Canada Jay, Whiskey Jack, Gorbie, Camp Bird, and there are probably more names. Always welcomes you when you arrive at the cottage for the first time of the year and is there to see you off when you close up for the winter. Calm, unassuming, friendly, inquisitive, graceful, and mates in the winter! How Canadian is that?

i like Dr. David Bird's (great surname!) discussion of the top choices. He sold me in the Gray Jay!

Amiable, adorable, nation wide year round, an inhabitant of our threatened boreal forests, and resilient. What's not to love about how the whiskey jack personifies hardy Canadian virtue?

But we should definitely give it back it's old name of "Canada Jay"

I was torn between the Raven and the Whiskey Jack, but was swayed by Professor Bird's arguments.

Dr. Bird is correct! This bird is a true canadian.

Ditto to the article in the globe and mail.

The gray jay is a year round resident of Canada and is a perfect fit as our national bird.

I live and work in Algonquin Park and enjoy the wonderfully friendly hardy grey jays especially this time of year.

Dr. Bird's arguments won me over (Globe and Mail article Jan 23) - the raven is my favorite bird but for our national bird - Gray Jay seems very Canadian to me!

Gray jay has the characteristics that align with most of us Canadians. Plus it can see all across the country.

I first came across the Whiskey Jack in the military ranges of Petawawa. They were very friendly birds, perching on our hats, and even landing on the rim of a frying pan, stealing strips of bacon from us! Always looking for handouts but not being the least obnoxious. They are typically Canadian in their demeanor.

Oh, and thanks for having a legible capcha!

The gray jay belongs to all Canadians it is found in every province and can be claimed by none it is no province's official bird.

I love that I can go hiking, sit on a log to eat lunch and have a Whiskey Jack sit down to join me. Although I know her interest is in my lunch, it is a pleasure to have such a wonderful companion.

The Gray Jay is clever, quick, elegant and humble. A perfect avian emblem for Canada.

Dr. Bird made the case!

I really do not have much to say. I was reading the Globe and Mail this morning and their was an article about this project and a persuasive argument to vote for the Grey Jay. A bird that lives in every province and territory year round makes sense to me. Not like the more common pesky irritant to the American's that tends to leave a bad impression of Canadians abroad. The "Snow Bird".

I may be considered biased but ............
For reasons espoused by Dr. Bird (could he also be biased because of name?) the Gray Jay/Whiskey Jack does seem like the right choice. I fondly remember during our early summers in Algonquin Park, Father and Mother happily identifying the Whiskey Jack (only later did I know it was also the Gray Jay) by its distinctive call.
Thanks very much JayR

Dr Bird in the Globe made compelling points and convinced me!

I read a fascinating article in the Globe this morning on this project. It seems obvious that the gray jay is the best choice. I think it would get more votes if you listed it as the whiskey jack.

He lives in all of Canada...a really smart bird...

I read Dr. Bird's article in the Globe and Mail and all his points made really good sense and I think it should be the Gray jay or as we call it the Whiskey Jack. It is in all provinces, doesn't migrate, is not already another province's bird, is smart and hardy.

David Bird convinced me!

Extremely smart, lives across Canada, and hardy

David Bird definitely has a point on the Gray Jay being our national bird. Its friendliness, grey colour, and association with boreal forests very well represents our country as a whole. It is found in every province and territory and its French name is Mesangeai du Canada. Also, its scientific name is Perisoreus canadensis, which proves that it is pretty much only found in Canada and is symbolic of this country. Gray Jay are everything Canadian. Up with Gray Jay!

Whisky Jacks are smart, friendly, lively, and subtly beautiful. I like the idea of a national bird that is not found in urban areas.

Never has my food been stolen faster or with such style as by the whiskey jack. Smart resourceful and beautiful. What is more canadian than that.

If a man called Dr. Bird recommends the Gray Jay then how could I not vote for it. With a name like that he can't be wrong!

The whiskey jack has been a visitor to just about every outing that I have gone on in Labrador. It is curious and friendly ... a trip to the cabin would not be the same without one of these visitors ping by and sharing lunch.

Beautiful and resilient. A good representative for Canada.

I agree with the article in the Globe and Mail. This bird represents Canadian charicteristics and values

Mésangeai du Canada

A hardy bird, found in every province & territory, it has a gentle disposition. As that makes it a fitting symbol for Canada.

I was previously unaware of this bird, but its nature is very appealing to my sense of our Canadian identity. Quiet, smart, friendly. Never seeking the spotlight but always there with a hand (or wing) of friendship.

My own opinion would be to remove all provincial birds from the competition. We are one nation, and to choose a provincial bird to represent our entirety would suggest that certain provinces are more Canadian than others. Let's choose one that lives everywhere in the country and represents us all.

I spent my childhood vacations at the lake in Northern Saskatchewan and these beautiful birds would always make a presence when we were around. Whether summer or winter, the Canada Jay would still show up at the bird feeder, ready to fill its belly, and a tree nearby with seeds! David Bird makes a strong case for the Canada Jay, and rightly so.

The gray jay is resilient, resourceful and adaptable to change. They stay in our northern Ontario climate all year round.

Why can we not have two national birds. One for all of Canada and one for the Wet Lands, lakes, streams, inlets and harbours, thereare plenty of those about.

Le mésangeai du Canada a une large distribution dans le territoire du Canada. Il demeure avec nous à l'année Il est adapté à nos conditions climatiques rigoureuses. Il a développé des mécanismes originaux pour s'adapter aux conditions climatiques et aux habitats.

Il est chapardeur mais il reste un oiseau sympatique.

Il n'est l'emblème d'aucune province ou territoire.

An intelligent, bright-eyed, polite and friendly bird. The Canada jay was a joy to see at highway rest stops on our motoring trip up to the Yukon. We would put cookies and bits of our lunch at one end of the table and he helped himself but never encroached on our part of the dining table. It was always a delight to be around, much like most Canadians. Please don't vote the loon in on the basis of it being minted on our dollar. The loon is Ontario's bird, very territorial, awkward walking out of water, and has that distinctive call that we should leave with Ontarians.

Great bird.

Le Mésangeai du Canada serait une belle espèce comme emblème aviaire du Canada. C'est un oiseau qui vit dans la forêt boréale partout au pays. Débrouillarde et rusée comme toutes les espèces de la famille des corvidés, cette espèce est assez connue et facile à observer dans son habitat. Le Mésangeai du Canada vient facilement à la rencontre des utilisateurs de la forêt.

Le Mésangeai se retrouve surtout dans le nord de l'Amérique, ce qui correspond au Canada.

My son, the rabid/avid birder, says that the Gray Jay clearly should win, which is why I’m voting for it. I’m sure he has his reasons for thinking thus (e.g. range, prevalence, not overly gushed over by casual birders, etc.) and, as Canadians, we want an interesting birds that we can be proud of.

In the early 80's we were on board our sailboat, Barbara Ann IV, with our four children, anchored in snug harbour(*) for overnight and a swim. Barbara, the children and i, all keen birders, were delighted to see a number of gray jays, seemingly indifferent to our presence, making the best of what the shoreline trees and other vegetation had to offer. We strongly support choosing the Canada jay/gray jay as Canada's national bird. Bravo, David Bird!

*lies on NS's mainland just west of Bushen Island, Chart 4394

Found in every province, a Canadian bird. Very friendly, like Canadians.

What better bird to choose as our national bird? It is one of the relatively small number of species that remains in Canada over the winter, and furthermore breeds in the cold of winter only! I like the fact as well that it is found right across our great nation, not just in one region, and it hasn't already been chosen as a provincial bird.

While I agree with comments already given for this bird, I would just like to add that I have also heard it referred to as the woodsman's friend. If in the woods it will find you and stick with you. What could be better?

Why I'm voting for the Gray Jay as official bird of the country.

Have you ever noticed, everyone remembers their first encounter with the Gray Jay. They will always tell you where and how fun it was. And those telling about their encounters were always impressed how intelligent, clever and handsome theses jays were. I didn't have that same experience with the Northern Goshawk! Lol

A few years ago my late grandfather (94 years old!) who had an exceptional memory would tell me the hard conditions of the 1930s in Québec and having a large family ( he was from a small village in the Chic Choc Mountains near Matane, Quebec called Saint-Jean-de-Cherbourg). Every year he would spend 9 months away from his family in North Eastern Québec (Cote-Nord) and in the Lac Saint Jean area to work in the logging camps, where conditions were not great, nor the pay and also the harsh weather they had to endure. As a very young man, he would miss my grandmother and family in these camps (no WIFI! hihi), being only in his young twenties, with much older men. Funny, today I now know why there is a year difference in age between my mother's siblings...

But just a few weeks before he died, I stopped by to see him and when he saw I was passionate about birds, he told me that during those lonely days in those logging camp sites that one day he had found a nest (Gray Jay), which must of fell from the tree while they were working. The young in the nest hadn't survived, except one which he took back to the camp site and took care if it. He managed to feed and take care of it, and the little guy stayed around and followed my grandfather everywhere. It became the camp's mascot, and it helped my grandfather from missing his family. He even told me that he would play fetch with this jay! I don't recall if my grandfather gave it a name, but he told me that every time he would return to the camp site, for the 3 following years, it would recognize him and would fly on his shoulder when he arrived. The bird didn't do this for any other worker in the camp, just my grandfather. It was nice seeing my grandfather's eyes light up when telling this story.

What's funny about this story is I also had a little relationship or adventure with a Gray Jay, that I called Cloé, while working in Northern Quebec a few years back. I'll be introducing her in my upcoming lecture for the BPQ, this February. So I think you all know which bird I'll be voting for, as Canada's bird, and it won't be that Goshawk (that's another story!).

A hard choice among the Snowy Owl (endangered, beautiful, primarily Canadian in range) the Raven (funny, intelligent, resourceful, thriving in the North), and the Canada Jay (friendly, primarily Canadian in range, thriving in the North), but childhood memories of the magical visits by this soft-voiced, soft-winged, inquisitive neighbour makes it the one for me.

My first thought was the Snowy Owl, but I don't think the National bird should already be one of the Provincial birds. The Gray Jay is an intelligent bird, friendly, inquisitive and a year round resident of most of Canada.

One of the smartest birds we have everywhere in Canada. It is a joy to meet them when out for a hike or ski.

Most importantly, it is found across Canada. Commonly seen by average people.

Found across Canada including Vancouver Island & the Great White North.
Friendly, smart, hardy little bird - just like us!
It's the Canada Jay!

I am old enough to recall when the Gray Jay was called the Canada Jay. Changing it, on the grounds that the species also occurs in the U.S., while leaving in place such inappropriate bird names as Connecticut, Nashville, Tennessee and Cape May Warblers Philadelphia Vireo, "American" this or that, seemed absurd to me, as it left only two (of a great many) species whose breeding populations mostly are in Canada, and one, the lovely little Canada Warbler, is not a year round resident. Nor is the Hudsonian Godwit, which otherwise would be a "good" choice in terms of "Canadian-ness". Had we not exterminated the Labrador Duck, it might have been a good choice but for it being very limited in its range. I imagine the Common Loon will win, as it is well-known, popular, and justifiably associated with so much of Canada's beautiful wilderness, but with a few minor exceptions not a year-round resident, and certainly not exclusively Canadian, being found across the northern hemisphere.

The above gives a sense of the criteria I am applying. The Gray Jay does not occur in Canada's major population centres, and yet once one reaches Canada's more natural areas, apart from treeless prairies and tundra, it is not only often present, but a "friendly" bird that hangs around where there are people, and yet survives independently of us. It is lovely to look at, a wonderful blend of soft greys, with that dark eye centred in creamy white, and with comely proportions that, as an artist who specializes almost exclusively in painting wild birds, I find to be extremely attractive.

True, they are found in Alaska, a bit of the northern tier of mid-western and New England states, and has distinctive races in the high country of the U.S. western states, but there is no species of bird that is entirely restricted to Canada.

My other choices all reflect our northern character: Boreal Chickadee, Spruce Grouse, Pine Grosbeak, Common Raven and perhaps the Willow Ptarmigan.

But I am betting that the Common Loon, a wonderful bird to be sure, takes it.

The Gray Jay is also known as the CANADA Jay (also known as the Whiskey Jack) - true bird of Canada - does not migrate south for the winter and lives across all provinces of Canada. Has thick plumage that keeps it warm on long winter nights or in cold snaps when the temperature may be 40 below zero for days at a time. It's a "friendly" bird (as a true Canadian is) that will often sit on your hand to take treats of food. Also, no province of Canada has adopted this bird already to be it's provincial bird.

My 4th choice is the Canada Goose since it mates for life. My 3rd choice is the Loon since it reminds me of all the lakes we have in Canada. My 2nd choice is the Snowy Owl, which is found in all 10 provinces & 3 Territories, (but it is also found in Northern Europe). My 1st choice is the Grey Jay, which I think should be re-named the Canadian Jay, since it is found in all the provinces plus the Yukon & the Northwest Territories & more importantly - no where else in the world.

I like Canadian geese and the red-tailed hawk, since they both mate for life, and I also like the loon since it reminds me of all the lakes we have in Canada. But my choice is a toss-up between the gray jay (which I think should be called the canada jay), since it is found in all the provinces plus the Yukon and Northwest Territories - or the Snowy Owl, which is found in all of our territories and provinces. Both of these birds are distinctly Canadian.

Grew up with these birds in Schefferville, Quebec.

friendly little guy, kinda like Canadians.

Our national bird should not be a species already chosen as a provincial bird. Admittedly, the Canada jay is not so well known to urban dwellers, but for those who actually go out onto the land, there are few wild birds who are so ubiquitous, and who interact so much with humans. Loons and owls avoid humans, jays seek us out. They are great companions at a campsite (just be sure to guard your bacon!) and are an endearing symbol of our boreal wilderness.

The gray jay gets my vote!

Just look at its distribution! Clearly, a Canadian bird. That's why it's also know as the Canada jay. Tenacious and proud.

A friendly bird that would represent the spirit of Canada. It's name in French is le Geai du Canada! What better choice is there?

I grew up near Kenora, Ontario, and I love seeing the whiskey jack eating from my hands, the only time I have ever had this happen to me. I have read and heard stories about these incredibly bold birds.

Since moving to Toronto in 1991, not once have I ever seen another whiskey jack. NOT ONE. I would dearly love to see one again.

I'd like to see the gray jay or whiskey jack as Canada's national bird because of their friendliness! To me, this embodies all that is Canadian!

The Gray Jay, formerly known as the CANADA Jay, is a year-round Canadian. It is found in every province and territory. Best of all, it has the good sense to steer clear of Toronto. Clever, resourceful, charming, intelligent, all in an understated, tastefully appointed package. It's downright un-Canadian to even think of any other bird as our National Bird.

I agree with everything that David Bird has said about this wonderful and cool bird! It has my vote!

Not often seen by me in Quebec, but lovable and most suitable.

Le Mésangeai du Canada représente bien notre identité nordique Il est présent toute l'année dans toutes les provinces et territoires canadiens. Il est facile à identifier, affiche beaucoup de familiarité avec l'homme. Le mâle et la femelle sont identiques. Il fait aussi partie de notre héritage culturel, historique et folklorique.

Il représente bien notre identité nordique. Il ets facile à identifier, le mâle et la femelle sont identique. En plus, il affiche beaucoup de familiarité avec l'homme. Il fait partie de notre héritage culturel, historique et folklorique.

I agree with David Bird's arguments, RE: the gray jay. Let Canada pick as its national bird a species that is smart, gregarious, tenacious, previously unclaimed and seriously underestimated.

While I mostly know this species from the Rockies in Colorado, I find David Bird's arguments compelling. It's charming, curious, intelligent and bold.

Thanks for making the strong case for this bird as Canada's national bird! Particularly liked that it is friendly and hardy, like Canadians, found in all provinces and prominent in First Nations background. We are fortunate to have a country with so many deserving choices. Hope it wins!

J'aime cet oiseau très peu gêné qui répond aux critères recherchés.

One of the most widespread species in Canada, with little distribution elsewhere, its quiet beauty, lack of fear of humans and willingness to visit remote campsites makes it a favourite across the North. Its international and French names already recognize its Canadian character, and making it our national bird could pressure the AOU into reversing its incredibly bad decision of a few years ago, changing the English name from Canada jay to gray [sic] jay.

Gray jays are such a delight to see in the wild, and after reading David Bird's top 10 list of why they should be our national bird I was sold!

First off, I don't think the official bird of Canada should be any of the provincial birds, like snowy owl (Quebec), black-capped chickadee (New Brunswick) or common loon (Ontario). Also, it probably shouldn't be a raptor like the osprey (also Nova Scotia's provincial bird), simply because it looks a little too much like an eagle, which is America's bird.

I think the loon's getting the most votes because of the dollar coin, but again, it's already Ontario's bird ...

In any case, I think the gray jay is a good choice, chiefly because of its range is all across the provinces and territories.

Canada's bird should be able to be seen by Canadians across the nation. I shouldn't have to go to Nunavut to see the national bird.

Canada warbler and Canada goose are also good choices, maybe mostly for the name.

Anyway, let's go with gray jay, for its range.

It is everywhere in Canada

I vote for the gray jay because I think that it represents us.

Occurs in every province and territory
Wonderful "personality"; curious and resourceful
Diverse vocalizations and "language"
Subtle beauty
Non-migratory, year-round resident that remains in Canada through the best and worst of times

All the above metaphorically symbolize Canadians better than any other bird.
This is the smart choice.

The gray jay is found in all 10 provinces as well as all territories and has a very limited range in the U.S. It faces our winters like us Canadians. It has the name Canada in its scientific name, is often still called "Canada jay" by many of us and also has the name Canada in its French name: Mésangeai du Canada. This is our best choice for a true Canadian bird.

Le Mésangeai du Canada se retrouve dans toutes les provinces et territoires et a une distribution plutôt restreinte aux États-Unis. Il fait face à nos hivers comme nous. Il a le nom Canada dans son nom scientifique, est souvent encore appelé Canada Jay dans le Canada anglais et a également le nom Canada dans son nom français. Cela est notre meilleur choix pour un véritable oiseau qui représente le Canada.

For the record, the David Bird essay says it all.

I love this bird.

Le Mésangeai du Canada serait à mon avis un bon candidat pour le Canada bien qu'il niche aussi aux États-Unis, mais son aire de nidification se retrouve principalement au Canada et il niche dans toutes les provinces. Il en est de même du Tétras du Canada mais c'est une espèce peu connue du grand public.

En ma connaissance, le Bruant à face noire (Harris's sparrow) est la seule espèce qui niche seulement au Canada (Territoires du Nord-Ouest). Il hiverne principalement au centre des États-Unis. Toutefois, c'est une espèce très rare et peu connue dans l'est du Canada.

The gray jay is known for its friendly demeanour and intelligence. It easily symbolizes Canada's international reputation, without the predatory connotations of a bird of prey.

It was also once commonly known as the Canada jay. As a Canadian I feel there is no more appropriate bird choice.

Ubiquitous across Canada, doesn't flee the harsh winter months. Forever associated with the great boreal forests of this country. Hardy, opportunistic, intelligent but understated, with more emphasis placed on substance than style. An ideal representation of our nation.

Canada wide. Friendly. Resourceful. Hardy.

I remember every trip with the Cadets on our winter exercises. Each time, we'd eventually feed bread to the gray jays (whiskey jacks). These clowns would play and dance for food, entertaining us and each other with their antics.

As I got older and began moose hunting up North, the gray jays would do the same in our hunt camps, but this time for strips of meat and fat.

With so many good memories, I cannot vote for any other bird.

I vote gray jay - an inordinately friendly bird loved by most Canadians, and found in every province and territory (although sparsely represented in Nunavut). It doesn't shirk the north for southern climes in winter. Instead, it typically chooses winter as the best time to set up family. Furthermore, in keeping with other Canadian national symbols, their persona is more in keeping with resourcefulness, not ferociousness or dominance. (This contrasts sharply with the predominance of lions, eagles and other aggressive predators in the symbolism of other nations). According to some, they are the ghosts of old lumberjacks!

Of all the birds, the gray jay (or "whiskey jack") resides in Canada year-round in all the provinces and territories. While restricted to higher elevations, it is the ubiquitous icon of Canada's back country and wild-spaces. Admittedly it was a tough choice between this bird and the loon, whose haunting call and elegant beauty graces our freshwater and marine places coast to coast and is an icon on our well-known currency the "loonie." But the tough, cheeky little grey bird of trails wins my heart.

Labrador's bird.

What could be more Canadian than Weesageechak (whiskey jack), the trickster, denizen of the boreal forest and playful mascot of every northern lumber camp from one end of the country to the other?

The gray jay, known to many as the “Camp Robber,” to others, aptly, “Canada Jay” or “whiskey jack,” is Canada’s national bird: living in every province and territory; merrily exploring the frozen, beautiful landscapes; seeming bland to the careless observer, but expressing a colourful personality and welcoming appreciation for everything colourful, strange and out of place in the wilderness.

A noisy band ... of gray jays joined in during a party on crown land where my friends were gathering with other groups of strangers out of the goodwill of the outdoors. A few Canada jays on another occasion, drawn to the shiny tinfoil wrapping our peanut butter sandwiches, joined me and my friend — even landing on my friend’s knee — on my most memorable, serene late fall day, seemingly ushering out the rest of the wildlife with them, a resplendent fish, playful foxes and otters. This bird doesn’t only show up for the good times, though; when I wasn't in the most serene shape walking in the bush, one perched next to me. That meant a great deal.

The gray jay is circum-country in its distribution. It is primarily resourceful, as are Canadians, and it can have fun - again like hard-working Canadians. Its grey colour gives the "whiskey jack" the appearance of potentially bland and non-descript, impressions others often have of Canadians. But we know better. Gray jays, like us, are opportunists, grabbing onto to innovative, creative ways to survive - in particular in winter. This bird does not migrate away from its homeland, it chooses to stay, endure and thrive. The gray jay is a true Canadian icon.

It is one of the species that stays in Canada all year, and its range doesn't venture that far outside the country. Its original name, "Canada jay," speaks for itself. Like Canadians, it is a humourous and friendly bird that greets us seemingly "in the middle of nowhere," but otherwise keeps to itself. It is also much more intelligent than it lets on, is humble and courageous - again, like most Canadians! Its nickname, "whiskey jack" comes from an Aboriginal name for it, and this just deepens the attachment of this species with the history of Canada. There are other species that are automatically connected with Canada, such as the Canada goose, but these associations are usually made by people outside the country who may not have much more of a knowledge-base of the species other than it having the word "Canada" in its name. The Canada jay (gray jay) is truly a Canadian bird on so many levels. And lastly, perhaps the "gray jay" becoming our national bird will eventually lead the A.O.U. to change its official name back to "Canada jay"!

The gray jay goes by several names, but Canada jay is what I hear most here in Washington State. With that name and its ambassador role in the fingers of montane boreal forest extending down into the states, and its year round presence, it seems the best to me. I also like its unassuming and friendly attitude, in contrast to the eagle's imperial bombastic nonsense, Aye?

The gray jay or whiskey jack, as some people call it, is my favourite bird in my backyard. Two of these visit me every day through the winter months, several times a day. I put my leftovers from the day before into a pie plate and set this on the BBQ tray outside for these pretty birds.

Gray jays are friendly, very trusting and very polite, and step aside when the greedy blue jays swoop in and snatch up the leftovers.

I have found that they like most foods, and even dog kibble softened a bit with water is popular. They do not like certain vegetables or fruit, I have found, as carrots, beans and peas are left behind.

In the spring, before they leave for the summer every year, they bring their young, usually two babies, in for a feed. The babies are bigger and darker than their parents!

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