Gray Jays

While exploring areas around Mt. Hood, my Portland Audubon class encountered a flock of Gray Jays at the Little Crater Lake Campground (Birding Oregon p. 75). When I find this species in the woods, they seem rather shy to me. But when the birds have been enjoying the easy pickings at a campground, one can quickly see how they got the nickname, Camp Robber. Jays were landing on fingers, binoculars, and hats in hopes of getting a handout. Their efforts were rewarded with nuts and crackers, a small price to pay for such an enjoyable close encounter with a beautiful bird.

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