National bird

I, for one, welcome our new feathered overlords. One is cute, but 6 starts to feel like you’re being ganged up on…

The grey jay or whisky jack has recently been appointed Canada’s national bird by the Canadian Geographic Society, though apparently the common loon was the popular choice. The whisky jack is resident throughout the country in all territories and provinces, which is a pretty good qualification for a national bird.

We encountered the famous grey jays/whisky jacks on our first backcountry hike in BC to Elfin Lakes. I was amazed at how bold these birds were and, like many people, marvelled at how they would come to your hand. Over the years I’ve come to realize that while they are cute, they are in fact a nuisance and are so used to being fed by people that they will steal from your hand, even if you’re about to eat.

And, as one of the comments says, there’s never just one. If I remember correctly, at the time this photo was taken (Nov 2008) there were 4 of them on the lookout for a handout, but we have had as many as 6 stand guard over us…

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