Canada jay hides food for winter, but sometimes nature's freezer lets it spoil

By Tom Spears, Ottawa Citizen, April 15, 2019

The Canada jay, a fierce little bird that ranges from Algonquin Park northward, is having trouble with climate. Warm spells keep spoiling its food.

Also known as the grey jay, and whiskyjack, the bird is about robin-sized and weighs 70 grams, less than three ounces.

The Canada jay does not migrate. Instead it copes with winter by storing food in spruce trees, which give it enough energy to withstand the cold.

For 40 years, a naturalist named Dan Strickland has been studying the Canada jays of Algonquin. And his years of data now come together in a paper published in a science journal, the Canadian Field-Naturalist.

Main conclusion: a warming climate spells trouble for the jay, especially at the southern end of its range — the Algonquin area.

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