This quiz was an easy one – our average definitely went up from the
tough one last month. Basically our photo shows an all gray bird.
There are only a few to choose from in Utah. Besides being gray our
bird shows some white tips to the wing feathers, it has a bit darker
gray or blackish cap (if we could see the whole head it is actually
only the nape), and white-tipped tail feathers. These are all
characteristic of the Gray Jay and should eliminate the other gray
birds we have in Utah. Townsend’s Solitaire and Dark-eyed Junco would
both show white outer tail feathers, but not white tipped on all tail
feathers like this bird. A Juniper Titmouse would appear grayer
without any white on the tail or the edges of the wing feathers, plus
would be smaller relative to the pine needles.
This bird is the Gray Jay found in the southern Rocky Mtns
including Utah. (subspecies capitalis). Compared with other Gray Jays
it is lighter gray and has a bit more white on the tail.