Strathcona Wilderness Institute

Choose Canada’s National Bird

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Canadian Geographic has initiated a National Bird Project – to designate one of Canada’s 450 species of birds as Canada’s national bird. Of course my vote goes to the friendliest bird in Strathcona Park – the Gray Jay, also known as Canada Jay or Whiskey Jack, the bird featured on our Paradise Meadows Birds publication.

Cover Bird

Cover Bird

The Canada Jay is found across the country and importantly, on Vancouver Island! which being an island, is lacking some of the other birds that are common across the country. The Gray Jay is also friendly, resourceful, curious, smart, hardy – all great Canadian attributes!

Curious Whiskey Jack

Curious Whiskey Jack


On the Canadian Geographic website is an essay by David M. Bird (appropriate name!) Emeritus Professor of Ornithology at McGill University, eloquently explaining the reasons for choosing the Gray Jay. I remember Professor Bird visiting Paradise Meadows a few years ago! and agree entirely with his vote for Canada’s national bird. To top it off, the Gray Jay spends its winters here – a true Canadian of the Great White North!

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