I’m sure you’re all sick of hearing about politics and the results of voting. It shouldn’t be surprising some people just can’t get over the winner of the latest contest. The Gray Jay/Whisky Jack/Canadian Jay/Camp Robber will most likely become the national bird of Canada!
What’s astonishing about this victory is the Gray Jay only took 3rd place during the voting process. It followed behind both the loon and the snowy owl and ahead of the Canada goose and black-capped chickadee. According to an article on the Audubon website when the Royal Canadian Geographic Society announced the Gray Jay as the winner an ornithologist David Bird said, “The loon shit hit the fan.”
The reasoning behind picking the Gray Jay over the other birds? The loon, snowy owl and chickadee are already provincial birds so they thought a different bird should be used as the National Bird. Arguments against the gray jay are that it isn’t normally seen in populated areas like cities so unless you visit the wilderness areas you might not ever see the National Bird.
Bird, the ornithologist argues for the gray jay by saying, “The bird is a brainy one, too: It belongs to the highly intelligent corvid family. It’s bold and friendly, and will often eat out of the hands of hikers and campers. And like its fellow countrymen, it’s extremely hardy. Bird says the jays, which stay in Canada year-round, have been seen sitting on their eggs in minus-22-degree weather.”
Using the description above I think the Canadian Jay is a great choice for their National Bird!
The Cree-Ojibway name for whisky jack is wisikejak which means “mischievous prankster.”