Readers’ wildlife photos

January 23, 2022 • 9:00 am

Today is Sunday, and that means it’s John Avise Bird Photos Day.  And, as usual, the photos have a theme. John’s notes and IDs are indented, and you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them.

No, this post is not about Covid variants— I think we’ve all heard more than enough about those darn viruses!  Instead, it’s about Corvid birds (family Corvidae), of which about 20 species (including jays, crows, and magpies) can be found in North America.   Corvids are bold, inquisitive, intelligent, and often beautiful birds that can be among a region’s most conspicuous avifaunal elements.  The state where I took each photo is indicated in parentheses.

Island Scrub-Jay, Aphelocoma insularis (California, Santa Cruz Island):

Florida Scrub-Jay, Amphelocoma coerulescens (Florida):

California Scrub-Jay, Amphelocoma californica (California):

Mexican Jay, Aphelocoma ultramarina (Arizona):

Steller’s Jay, Cyanocitta stelleri (Wyoming):

Blue Jay, Cyanocitta cristata (Florida):

Green Jay, Cyanocorax yncas (Texas):

Canada Jay, Perisoreus canadensis (Wyoming):

Brown Jay, Cyanocorax morio (Texas):

Black-billed Magpie, Pica hudsonia (Wyoming):

Clark’s Nutcracker, Nucifraga columbiana (Colorado):

Common Raven, Corvus corax (Wyoming):

Common Raven, headshot (Wyoming):

American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos (California):

Flock of American Crows (a Corvid outbreak):

19 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Just a pleasure to look at, even the hideously attired green jay, who would have felt right at home in the 70s. We have two American crows (a couple, I presume) who come by for roasted peanuts every morning. Crows in large numbers can no doubt wreak havoc, but we’ve become fond of our two loudmouthed visitors.

    1. I too thought that “Gray Jay” was the latest name for this species, but the Cornell site (to which a link is provided) lists it as “Canada Jay” (which I thought was its former name). In any event, both common names refer to the same biological species.

      1. The change of the English name to Canada Jay occurred in 2018. And yes, the species also used to be called Canada Jay way back when. Apparently the change to Grey Jay (or Gray Jay in American spelling) occurred because subspecies were being given English names and subspecific names like Alaska Canada Jay and Oregon Canada Jay would have been pretty weird, hence the change of the species name to Gray Jay. But the idea of giving English names to subspecies was soon scrapped so there was no longer any reason for the change of name at the species level. Furthermore, the change to Gray Jay had gone against the naming rules. This was discovered and rectified decades later.

        Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was a team of Canadians, led by Dan Strickland who’d studied Canada Jays for years, who made the official proposal for the correction of the name, which was accepted. Apparently the team’s ultimate goal is to have this species officially recognized as Canada’s national bird and they felt the change of the name would surely help them in this endeavour. Given that Canada Jays don’t really occur in some of Canada’s most populated areas (e.g., southern Ontario), I’m not sure I’m on board with its being our national bird. In addition, while I lamented for years that the species was called Grey Jay, which I thought was terribly dull, over time I got used to it and even grew to rather like the assonance. Reverting to Canada Jay is hard.

        Thanks a lot for the great photos!

  2. This was a great set, and I love corvids. Green Jay? Never heard of that and thought the bird beautiful. And that last photo would be a murder of crows. 😉

  3. The( Texas )green jay, it same looking jay, we have in New Brunswick but are common blue Jay’s,
    Canada Jays in my Martime birds book( what I have always known as a Canada Jay), looks like what is noted as Brown Jay.

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