The Camp Robber aka Grey Jay

Whiskeyjack
 
While in Ontario’s Algonquin Park my wife Deneen and I encountered a well known and charming creature of the North, the Grey Jay (Perisoreus canadensis). This corvid is related to the more Southern Blue Jay as well as the rest of the corvid family which includes crows, ravens, and magpies. Like those other corvids they are smart,  consummate opportunists, and well known to the people around them.
 
camp robbers
Grey Jays have other common names that are often used; Camp Robber and Whiskeyjack, a anglicized pronunciation of a Cree name ( likely Wisakedjak).
 
Grey Jay eating from the hand
They have some unique behaviors, one of which is breeding and nesting in the Winter. To be able to do this they hide or “cache” food when it is available. They hide it in many different spots, later finding it, possibly by memory, the way we expect Grey Squirrels to do.
 
The name Camp Robber comes from their habit of taking food from people, often right from their hands whether offered or not. 
 
 
 

New Spot for the Camera Trap

Eastern Coyote in camera trap

We finally set up the camera trap here in Northfield.  Deneen and I put it out near one of her sit spots.  It is pointed at a well used trail but I poo pooed the spot because the trigger is slow and animals (and people) moving down a trail often do not get captured in the image.  Well as you can see I was wrong.  Great shots of a coyote, deer and in the last picture, the tail end of a bobcat.

Good to get reacquainted with the neighbors.

eastern coyote in game camera coyote in camera trap deer on game camera Bobcat on camera trap

Porcupine Under the Garage

porcupine in trail camera

Deneen and her nephew Jace put our camera trap behind her parents house in Maine where we had seen tracks going in and out from under the neighbors garage.  While they were out they saw the culprit in person trudging through the snow.  The porky was well known to her family, its trails are visible year round as well as the damage it caused the trees as it feeds.

camera trap

The camera did good work and captured many more pictures than I put here.  The animal seemed to come and go from its den under the garage multiple times a night.

porcupine near barn porcupine in camera trap

A couple winters ago we saw Grey Fox tracks going under the garage as well as the Porcupine.  I don’t know if they were sharing winter quarters (Grey Fox, unlike other canines, will use dens year round to sleep in) or if the fox merely  went under there several times looking for mice.  No sign of grey fox yet this winter.

Porcupine in back yard

More Camera Trap Pictures From the Deer Carcass

Game Camera

More pictures from the game camera.  This Eastern Coyote came.  Seems to be a different individual than the other coyote in previous photos.  Neither coyote fed.

It started to snow around 5 am while the Coyote was there.  Then this Bobcat (which I later determined to be a male, both bigger and lighter colored than the other Bobcat) came to the carcass.  It immediately covered the carcass with leaves and eventually fed from it.

We had removed the hide in order to take some meat for ourselves and then placed the rest of it here with the hide back on.  Our manipulation of the hide may have effected the way the animals feed from the carcass.  The Bobcat started here at the shoulder then moved to the rear end.

He looked over his shoulder many times toward the field.

Early that night and again the next morning the first Coyote came back.  I have the pictures in opposite order here because it’s a pain to change it.

On the thirteenth both male and female Bobcats are on the carcass when one of the Coyotes come in.  I wonder why it waited until now to eat from the carcass?  There were plenty of opportunities when no one else was around.

The female was much less comfortable with the Coyote and was never in the picture when the Coyote was close.  The male however would not leave the carcass.  I have many more pictures of the Coyote and male Bobcat together like this.

Here are the two Bobcats eating peacefully together.

More to come.