Crows (Corvidae)

Grey Jay (Perisoreus canadensis) - HBW 14, p. 591

French: Mésangeai du Canada German: Meisenhäher Spanish: Arrendajo Canadiense
Other common names: Canada Jay

Taxonomy: Corvus canadensis Linnaeus, 1766, Quebec, Canada.
Recent DNA-sequencing indicates that this genus and Cyanopica form unique clades, separate from other corvids; significance of this requires further research, but it suggests that Perisoreus is not very closely related to Garrulus. Probably forms a superspecies with P. internigrans and P. infaustus. Size tends to increase clinally from S to north (and perhaps from coast towards interior). Additional proposed races are arcus (described from Coast District, in British Columbia) and nigricapillus (from Labrador), both subsumed in nominate, and .. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Corvus canadensis Linnaeus, 1766, Quebec, Canada.
Recent DNA-sequencing indicates that this genus and Cyanopica form unique clades, separate from other corvids; significance of this requires further research, but it suggests that Perisoreus is not very closely related to Garrulus. Probably forms a superspecies with P. internigrans and P. infaustus. Size tends to increase clinally from S to north (and perhaps from coast towards interior). Additional proposed races are arcus (described from Coast District, in British Columbia) and nigricapillus (from Labrador), both subsumed in nominate, and griseus (L Keechelus, in Washington), considered a synonym of obscurus. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • pacificus ( J. F. Gmelin, 1788) - Alaska and NW Canada (Yukon and NW British Columbia).
  • canadensis ( Linnaeus, 1766) - N Canada from MacKenzie River Delta E to Labrador, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, S to N Alberta, C Saskatchewan and S Manitoba, S in N USA to NE Minnesota E to N New England.
  • albescens J. L. Peters, 1920 - E Rocky Mts (from SE Yukon, S Northwest Territories, NE British Columbia and NW & C Alberta) E to C Saskatchewan and WC Manitoba, S in USA to E Montana, NE Wyoming, Black Hills of South Dakota and NW Minnesota.

     See all 6 subspecies
  • pacificus ( J. F. Gmelin, 1788) - Alaska and NW Canada (Yukon and NW British Columbia).
  • canadensis ( Linnaeus, 1766) - N Canada from MacKenzie River Delta E to Labrador, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, S to N Alberta, C Saskatchewan and S Manitoba, S in N USA to NE Minnesota E to N New England.
  • albescens J. L. Peters, 1920 - E Rocky Mts (from SE Yukon, S Northwest Territories, NE British Columbia and NW & C Alberta) E to C Saskatchewan and WC Manitoba, S in USA to E Montana, NE Wyoming, Black Hills of South Dakota and NW Minnesota.
  • obscurus Ridgway, 1874 - SW British Columbia (including Vancouver I) and W USA in W Washington (Olympic Peninsula and Cascade Mts), Oregon (Cascade and Coast Ranges) and extreme N California.
  • bicolor A. H. Miller, 1933 - NC Rocky Mts from SE British Columbia S in USA to E Washington, E Oregon and Idaho.
  • capitalis S. F. Baird, 1874 - S Rocky Mts in E Idaho, W Wyoming, C Utah, W Colorado, EC Arizona and NC New Mexico.