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Jim Uran

Gray Jay's

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All fall and through mid winter I had a gray jay in my yard. I live in southern mahnomen county. This is the first one I've seen around this area. If anyone knows how common this is around here let me know.

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not sure of any "difinitive" line where the gray jay would live and winter(other birders out there would probably know more) but I would say your in their territory....quite a few around the conifer forests on the iron range and north....here's a quick pic of one I came across last week...slow lumbering ,quiet flight bird..not that afraid of us humans and they let you get quite close...jonny

Frame_hairywoodpecker.jpg

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You're about as far west as gray jays regularly go. They're not common there, but they aren't really rare, either. Get out closer to the Red River to the west and seeing one would be rare.

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Beautiful bird, I do recall seeing them quite often when i lived in Int'l falls but this was a first for around here. My brother seen it first and he said there was a huge chickadee out in your tree!!!!!! HA HA. They called them Whiskey Jacks up there. Thanks for the info guys.

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Are those the same bird that's called the Camp Robber Jay out west? I was gutting a deer in the Black Hills and two of them sat on a branch a few feet away, waiting for me to finish. I unloaded my rifle and reached into my pack for my after-hunt can of beer and when I looked back, the two were picking fat chunks off the gut pile. Within minutes, a couple more joined them and one decided to pick the fat off the hanging deer. They had absolutely no fear of me, only four or five feet away. They also liked to feed on and under our camp cooking table. Fun birds.

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I have always called them camp robbers. after cleaning some grouse last fall in nashwauk, they finished of the remains, nothing wasted.

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The gray jay has a bunch of slang names, like whisky jack and camp robber jays. Even among jay species, which are known for their boldness, the gray jay stands out.

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