While snowshoeing near the Arowhon Road in Algonquin Park, our group met several hungry Gray Jays. We noticed colourful bands on both of their legs. We also met with revered park naturalist, Dan Strickland a day or so later and shared the banding combinations that we saw on the Gray Jays. Dan Strickland has been monitoring and researching Gray Jays for several decades in Algonquin Park.
In the above photo, a Gray Jay landed in the snow (top right) and scooped up a small pile of snow (middle), then flew away. The Gray Jay had been eating some salty trail mix and I wonder if the blob of snow was needed to rehydrate. One particular Gray Jay would only eat raisins from our outstretched hands. He/She had a purple band. This makes sense to me. My tracking friend Dory named him “Sam” (top photo).