Canada's National Bird - Canada (Gray) Jay

Canada's National Bird - Canada (Gray) Jay
Posted on April 7, 2015 | Edward Farnworth | Written on April 7, 2015
Letter type:

Author's Note:

Author's Note:

Canada is looking for a national bird.  Canadians have been asked to cast their vote to help decide which feathered friend will be our national bird. 


The Federal Government has decided that Canada needs a national bird.  As a way of celebrating our 150th anniversary as a country in 2017, the plan is to declare an official national bird.  Leading up to this the Canadian Geographic Society has started a poll to determine what bird Canadians think should be “our bird.” Here are reasons why the Canada (Gray) Jay should become our national bird:

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)

You can vote for the Canada (Gray) Jay at the Canada Geographic Society web site:

Join the group promoting the Canada (Gray) Jay at our Facebook page:

About The Author

EdwardFarnworth's picture

Edward (Ted) Farnworth is a retired scientist who worked for the federal department of Agriculture. He enjoys writing, has a website Medicinal Food News that helps consumers understand the ever changing field of food... More