The Camp Robber Bird – The Fascinating Bird That’s Ready to Steal Your Food

If you ever wanted to feed birds directly from your hand, a fearless Camp Robber Bird would not disappoint.

Know more about these amazing bird species which are an inch away from becoming Canada’s National Bird!

What is Camp Robber Bird?

The Camp Robber Bird (Perisoreus canadensis) will keep your summer and winter vacation in Summit County extremely enjoyable.

Belonging to the Corvidae family, this gray-colored bird bear resemblances with the Clark’s Nutcracker, ravens, and crows.

There are nine species of the Camp Robber Bird in North America, and they are monogamous. The bird is commonly referred to as the Gray Jay, Whiskey Jay, or Canada Jay.

This bird has a large, round head and a small bill it uses for feeding on plants and small animals.

The bird species do not appear very friendly: they gladly pick any food you offer them but immediately fly away to store them for the winter. They are named for their infamous habit of stealing food from campers.

The Gray Jay has a large head, and a small bill it uses to feed on plants and small animals.

It has a dark-grey body, with the underpants having a lighter shade of grey. Its head is a mix of grey and white.

One unique feature of the bird species is the rivalry that exists amongst siblings. After being hatched, the nestlings make a home in the nest as one big family.

After about three of them leaves, the rivalry is set in motion just in about a month. The nestlings wrestle with one another until the strongest can drive the rest out. This behavior is akin to the theory of “survival of the fittest.”

Characteristics of the Camp Robber Bird


The Camp Robber bird is found in different conifers and forests in North America.

It is very common to find Grey Jays in eastern Canada, and coniferous forests in the northwestern region.


The Camp Robber Bird is omnivorous, feeding on berries, rodents, nuts, insects, seeds, and spiders.

The bird species is a scavenger and is notorious for stealing food from campers and tourists.

Feeding Behavior

Grey Jay exhibits several feeding behaviors. Generally, it flies from one tree to another, looking for food.

It is also known for its notoriety in stealing food from cabins and camps, and it got its name from this behavior.

The bird species prey on small rodents and birds, and also forages on insects.

The Camp Robber Bird is a scavenger, feeding on the flesh of dead animals, especially in the winter.

To survive the cold winter, it stores food on the crevices in tree barks with its sticky saliva. This way, the Camp Robber Bird never runs out of food and can survive throughout the year.

The Canada Jay can fly with food – even sizable ones – in his bill. This aids its habit of stealing food and flying away to store it for the cold day.

See Also: Here’s Where To Hang Your Hummingbird Feeder (And How!)


The Camp Robber Bird is monogamous, with a mating pair staying together their whole lives. The bird species exhibit territoriality behavior, sternly defending its nesting area.

The male Robber Bird provides food for the female during courtship. The female lays around 3 – 5 brown or reddish eggs, and the male provides food in the early period.

After a period of brooding by the female, it joins the male in the fetching of food.

The bird nests just once a year, and it usually does so around March and April, when the snow still covers its breeding area.

Both the male and female bird species are involved in the building of the nest. They build their nest about 15 inches above ground level, on the branch base of a fir. 

The nest, typically, is made of different materials, including tree bark strips, twigs, the web of caterpillars, and lichens. To ensure comfort, the Camp Robber Birds line the interior of the nest with bird feathers and animal hair.

Importance of the Camp Robber Bird

The Camp Robber Bird is a remarkable bird for sightseeing along the coast of North America.

Its obsessive trait of stealing and storing food sets it apart from other bird species among its closest relatives of crows and ravens.

The bird species is so important and unique to the North American continent that the Candian Geographic named it the country’s national bird in 2016.


What kind of bird is a Camp Robber?

The Camp Robber Bird is an omnivorous bird belonging to the Corvidae family and is commonly known for stealing food from camps – earning the name Camp Robber.

While it flies from tree to tree looking for food, it’s mostly a scavenger, feeding on the carcass of dead animals.

Is the Gray Jay Canada’s national bird?

In 2016, the Gray Jay was named Canada’s National Bird by the Canadian Geographic on the hills of votes by thousands of Canadians.

However, its status as the country’s national bird was not officially sanctioned by the government of Canada.

The Canadain Geographic does hope that the bird would be accepted in the future.

See Also: A Guide To the State Bird Of California – The California Quail

Where does the Gray Jay live?

The Camp Robber bird is found in different conifers and forests in North America. It is very common to find Grey Jays in eastern Canada, and coniferous forests in the northwestern region.

The bird spends most of its time flying and gathering food that it stores away. It nests once a year on the base of low tree branches.

How do you attract Gray Jays?

A Gray Jay is willing to perch very close to you just to grab the piece of bread you’re holding.

One sure way to attract the bird is holding out some food.

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