Yesterday a friend and I climbed a local mountain. At the top the Whiskey Jacks came to help me eat my lunch. Thought you all might enjoy the pictures.
That’s incredibly cool. Did you know they’d be there? I’d be tempted to bring extra food just for them.
While in St Martin one year we rented kayaks and paddled out into the Caribbean to a tiny island (about 1/4 acre). There were skinks all over, and they’d climb onto our hands to eat the pieces of cheese we offered from our lunch.
Never heard of Whisky Jacks, but the birds look familiar. Gray Jays is what I’ve heard them called. Cool birds.
I didn’t know they were up there until I saw a feather on the ground when we were about half way up. Once I saw a Whiskey Jack feather I knew they’d be up there waiting for us. I had packed lots of food so they “helped” me with my sandwich and snacks.
The sounds they make sound exactly like the tiny dinosaurs in Jurassic Park! At one point I had one on my head, one on my shoulder, one on my hand and some others trying to see what was in my back pack. Occasionally one would give a specific call and they’d all dash into a tree. Sure enough we’d then see the eagle flying above.
Yes, they are Gray Jays. I don’t know why they’re also called Whiskey Jacks.
Thanks for sharing the pictures. I mentioned Whisky Jacks to my receptionist and she thought they were a band. I told her they were gray jays, same family as our blue jays, but I had to show her a pic of a bluejay for her to understand.
Was that up by Crawford Notch in NH? The Gray Jays are notorious for hanging out near the summits of Jackson, Tom, Field, and Willey, as well as a few other peaks in the vicinity. I have pictures of them on my head, feeding from my hands, on my pack, etc. At times you have to hide your lunch from them.
No, this is on Vancouver Island.
The background looked like it could have been Mt Jackson, but not enough detail to be sure. Similar terrain, so it’s not surprising that they inhabit that zone. They’re pretty much a fixture on those summits, can’t miss them.
Cool! You are the Whiskey Jack Whisperer!
That is so cool! I love the name Whiskey Jack–so much more colorful than grey jacks or grey jays. I got all curious as to how it got that nickname and found this in Canadian Geographic:
The common moniker “whiskey jack” has nothing to do with the grain-based alcohols, but is rather an anglicization of the Cree Wisakedjak and similar variations used by nations in the Algonquian language family, which makes the gray jay Canada’s only bird commonly referred to by a traditional Indigenous name.
And they’re the national bird of Canada!
Thanks so much for posting those wonderful photos.
Love gray jays. Have to go clear up to near the Oregon border to find them in California. But I still remember my first encounter as a teenager visiting Prairie Creek park. We were eating lunch in a little clearing in a Redwood grove and I was deep in a conversation with a cookie in hand, pretty stationary with my elbow rested on a picnic table. Suddenly I feel/hear something land on my hand and glance over to see a gray jay standing on my hand and staring me in the eye. It held my gaze for a second, then casually leaned down to take bite out of my crumbly cookie and fly back to a nearby branch. Next thing I knew there were another half-dozen raiding our lunch.
To be fair, anyone who shows up (with or without food) will get the same treatment.
Thanks for the interesting info!