The Gray Jay, of the crow and jay family, is a year-round resident of the subalpine zone of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains and, specifically, in coniferous forests at elevations ranging from 8,500 to 11,300 feet. Its feathers are white and gray with no crest on its head. It ranges in size from 10 to 13 inches long and weighs 68 to 76 grams.
The Gray Jay is an easy bird to stumble upon because it has been known to fearlessly scavenge for human food in the presence of humans and, thus, its nickname is the “camp robber”. Its omnivorous diet includes caterpillars, grasshoppers, seeds, dead animal flesh, small birds, and small mammals. What’s more, the Gray Jay survives winters by using its sticky saliva to store/hide large supplies of food in bark crevices throughout its forest canopy.
The first four pictures were taken at Emerald Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park while on a snowshoeing trip that started from the Bear Lake trailhead.
The last picture was taken at Brainard Lake.