This past weekend (February 16, 2013) we had a nice encounter with three Gray Jays along the Moose Bog Trail at Wenlock WMA in Ferdinand Vermont. There was a lot of quivering behavior suggesting courtship, Gray Jays start building their nests in February or March. Unique behavior of Gray Jays is that the dominant juvenile from the pair?s own previous nesting continue to accompany its parents through the first fall and winter (and sometimes longer), benefiting from their experience and protection. The third bird was a banded bird and not involved with the attention of the quivering bird, sometimes the dominant bird may eventually inherit the natal territory and breed. The only other birds we found on the trail was a single Golden crowned Kinglet and a single Red breasted Nuthatch. Here are some Gray Jay images:
Elsewhere in the NEK we continue to have a nice flock of Redpolls at our feeder and nearby 7 Pine Grosbeaks and about 50 Snow Buntings. Three Brown-headed Cowbirds at a feeder in Sutton was a surprise.
Bob Stymeist and Martha Steele
Westmore VT and Arlington MA