Canada Jay
(Perisoreus canadensis)

Summary

Picture of bird
© John Reaume
For additional photos and vocalizations, visit Dendroica. (Link opens in a new window.)

The Canada Jay is an abundant and widespread year-round resident of Canada's boreal coniferous forests, ranging from the east to the west coasts and north to the tree line. Both the Christmas Bird Count and the Breeding Bird Survey suggest little overall change in abundance since 1970, though there is evidence of a negative trend. The northern portion of the population is not well covered by either survey. Climate change has been identified as a possible threat to this species on the southern edge of its range (Strickland 2007). With more than 80% of the global breeding population, Canada's responsibility for the Canada Jay is very high. This species has been identified as a priority for conservation and/or stewardship in one or more Bird Conservation Region Strategies in Canada.

Designations

Main designations for the species
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies, population
IUCN (Global)Least concern2018 
Wild Species (Canada)Secure2015 
Bird Conservation Region StrategyPriority Species2013 

Population status

Geographic area or populationPopulation change relative to ~1970ReliabilityStatus in relation to goal
CanadaLittle ChangeMediumAt an Acceptable Level
 

Population estimate

Geographic area or populationPopulation estimate
Canada5,000,000 - 50,000,000 adults
 

Distribution maps

 

Migration strategy, occurrence

Resident

Responsibility for conservation

Geographic areaResponsibility based on % of global population
CanadaVery High

Conservation and management

Historic populations of this species are probably similar to those of today (Strickland and Ouellet 2011). However, the Canada Jay is susceptible to climate change because its winter survival depends on supplies of perishable stored food that may deteriorate with warmer winter conditions (Strickland 2007). Climate change may reduce Canada Jay habitat and increase survival of Mountain pine beetle causing further destruction of lodgepole pine stands (Strickland and Ouellet 2011). As a year-round resident of Canada's boreal coniferous forests this species may be a key indicator of the ecosystem's health.

 

Bird conservation region strategies

Environment and Climate Change Canada and partners have developed Bird Conservation Region Strategies in each of Canada’s Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs). In these strategies, selected species are identified as priorities for one or more of the following reasons:

  • conservation concerns (i.e., species vulnerable due to population size, distribution, population trend, abundance, or threats)
  • stewardship responsibilities (i.e., species that typify the regional avifauna or have a large proportion of their range or population in the sub-region)
  • management concerns (i.e., species that require ongoing management because of their socio-economic importance as game species, or because of their impacts on other species or habitats)
  • other concerns (i.e., species deemed a priority by regional experts for other reasons than those listed above or because they are listed as species at risk or concern at the provincial level)

Select any of the sub-regions below to view the BCR strategy for additional details.

BCRs, marine biogeographic units, and sub-regions in which the species is listed as a priority
RegionSub-region and priority type
Atlantic Northern ForestsAtlantic Northern Forests, sub-region and priority type: Atlantic, NS -- Other
Atlantic Northern ForestsAtlantic Northern Forests, sub-region and priority type: Atlantic, PE -- Other
Boreal Softwood ShieldBoreal Softwood Shield, sub-region and priority type: Quebec -- Other
Northwestern Interior ForestNorthwestern Interior Forest, sub-region and priority type: Pacific and Yukon -- Other
Taiga Shield and Hudson PlainsTaiga Shield and Hudson Plains, sub-region and priority type: Atlantic, NL -- Other
Taiga Shield and Hudson PlainsTaiga Shield and Hudson Plains, sub-region and priority type: Ontario -- Stewardship
Taiga Shield and Hudson PlainsTaiga Shield and Hudson Plains, sub-region and priority type: Quebec -- Other
 

References