Nesting gray jays near Caroline Internet stars

Ellis Bird Farm web cam possibly world’s first

Philip and Elizabeth Gray Jay — the nesting pair in a webcam shot.

In what might be a first in the world, a web camera is streaming live video of a couple of nesting gray jays near Caroline.

Already, since the camera was installed on March 18, 7,000 viewers have seen the birds finish off their intricate nest, and then the female lay a clutch of three eggs last weekend. Now she’s settled in for the hatch, expected to occur in about two weeks.

“We’ll have Easter bunnies and Easter jays hatching on Good Friday,” a delighted Myrna Pearman, biologist at the Ellis Bird Farm, said Friday.

Pearman said that a couple approached the bird farm’s booth during the recent Red Deer Sportsman Show to tell them they had some nest gray jays outside their home near Caroline. Normally gray jay nests are far off in the woods and well above ground.

Pearmen went out to have a look and found a perfect situation. The nest was close to the ground, and a power supply as well as an Internet source. With permission, an electronics specialist quickly installed the camera.

The boreal forest bird is known for having adapted to living in cold regions. It is found in every Canadian province and territory. The friendly, tough and clever bird was recently chosen by the Royal Canadian Geographic Society as the preferred candidate to become Canada’s national bird, and suggests Canada’s 150th birthday is a great opportunity to declare it such.

Pearman said the Caroline jays have been dubbed Elizabeth and Philip, after Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip.

Gray jays are very tame and have a great reputation for pilfering food at a campground or if you’re hiking, she said.

“The interest has been incredible. It’s somehow caught the imagination of people. It’s such a rarity to be able to see this,” Pearman said, adding that according to the geographic society, the gray jays web cam is likely a world first.

Gray jays typically nest probably 10 to 15 metres up in a tree. Theyusually way back in the bush. “Everything just aligned,” Pearman said.

Red Deer is just outside the normal range of the gray jay. They are further west and north, so Caroline is prime habitat.

Pearman noted that the photos on the Ellis Bird Farm website are only screenshots from the web camera. They are not going back and disturbing the nest to get new photos, she said.

barr@bprda.wpengine.com

 

A webccam shot of the female gray jay (Elizabeth) on the nest .

Just Posted

Accused murderer tells all to Mr. Big undercover officer

Joshua Frank tells undercover police officer he shot the Klaus family

Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre prepares to open

Non-profit will run the facility and agencies will provide staff

Rocky Mountain House man arrested for child luring

A 30-year-old Rocky Mountain House man was arrested after allegedly having explicit… Continue reading

Parkinson association will close offices but maintain services

Offices closing in Red Deer, Medicine Hat and Lethbridge

WATCH: Central Middle School students’ Christmas tree

A group of Central Middle School students are set to show off… Continue reading

Red Deer County firefighters to be recognized for Waterton help

RCMP brass will give formal recognition Monday

Ron James tries to lighten humanity’s load through humour

The comedian returns to Red Deer for shows Dec. 1 and 2

100+ Women Red Deer donate to Christmas Bureau

About $14,000 will help with Christmas hampers and toys

Semi collides with vehicle on Highway 2 north of Ponoka

Members of the Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit dealt with a call on Highway 2 north of Ponoka

After 70 years, Red Deer veteran still remembers his traumatic war experience

Frank Krepps feels lucky to have survived the Second World War

Merritt Mountie charged with assault

Charges are in relation to an incident in May at the detachment, B.C. Prosecution Service said

Blackfalds RCMP arrest “armed and dangerous” man

A 38-year-old man, who police identified as armed and dangerous, was arrested… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C.’s own hammock deer garners celebrity status

After getting tangled in a backyard hammock the deer in Prince Rupert has T-shirts, Facebook page

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month