The two year search is over for Canada’s national bird, and it’s not a loon, but a Grey Jay, AKA “The Whiskey Jack.” The Royal Canadian Geographic Society were in charge of the ordeal.

Why The Grey Jay?

It’s found in every province and territory, AND (almost) only in Canada, making it both inclusive and exclusive! It was also selected for its inherent traits that were thought to reflect Canadian characteristics like its intelligence, toughness, and friendliness.

What Is It?

A robin-sized jay, related to the famed blue jay, known to ornithologists as Perisoreus canadensis. It is a member of the crow family, hence its intelligence.

Some Neat Facts?

  • They’re curious and playful enough to land in your hand for a bit of food.
  • They has super sticky saliva they use to glue food items to the tree it lives in. This is a pretty unique means of food storage, and perhaps how they’re able to live so far north throughout the winter.
  • They’re weird breeders: most birds have their kids in the spring and summer when it’s warm; Grey Jays nest and incubate eggs in the winter in very cold weather. It baffles scientists.
  • They eat just about everything and only need 47 calories a day to get by.
  • They’re the smartest bird on the planet, at least according to some studies.