#Biodiversity150 number 76 of 150 Grey Jay

76/150: Find out why the Grey Jay is Canada’s new National Bird!

Animalia: Chordata: Aves: Passeriformes: Corvidae: Perisoreus: Perisoreus canadensis (Linnaeus, 1766)

The Grey Jay (P. canadensis) is a songbird from the Family Corvidae, also sometimes called the Canada Jay or Whiskey Jack, derived from the Indigenous name Wisakedjak. The Grey Jay is considered one of the smartest birds in the world along with other Corvids who display the ability to make tools and play complex social games even as youngsters. The Grey Jay uses its intelligence to hoard thousands of pieces of food throughout the summer so that it can last through the winter without migrating, proving it has an exceptional memory. The Grey Jay was also recently selected by Canadian Geographic as Canada’s national bird and though an unofficial title, the organization behind the magazine is now petitioning for the government of Canada to recognize its decision. The Grey Jay beat out the Loon and Snowy Owl among others due to its significance to Indigenous peoples as well as its reputation as a tough bird that stays in Canada year-round and nests as early as February. It was also chosen because it does not already hold a formal title in one of Canada’s provinces, unlike many of the other competitors. We think it’s great that the Grey Jay is finally getting some recognition, what do you think? #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

The Grey Jay, also known as the Canada Jay or Whiskey Jack! Photo Credit: Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren goo.gl/L1qcbL
A Grey Jay nesting in the dead of a Canadian winter. Photo Credit: Dan Strickland goo.gl/DDAaEe

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID: USNMI174-11

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Grey Jay

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAE6422