“Grey Jay”: The CWHC’s 25th Anniversary Artwork

A Celebratory Corvid

This wonderful Robbie Craig original artwork  was commissioned to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative and adorns the wall of our National Office.

A Quintessentially Canadian Mascot

The Gray Jay is a member of the Corvidae family (crows and jays) found across most of Canada. Known as the Whiskey Jack to some (from the Algonquian word Wisakedjak and other variations), and formerly as the Canada Jay, this resilient bird is a familiar visitor to campsites and traplines in the boreal forest. Their boldness and skill in collecting food has earned them several nicknames such as “camp robber” and “moose bird” and it is not uncommon to see a daring individual hopping onto a human hand or knee to retrieve a snack. Their diet consists of anything they can find, including berries, insects, and carrion. They spend most of the summer hoarding food for the winter, during which they remain as permanent residents throughout their range, including the northernmost reaches of the boreal forest. Gray Jays lay their eggs in March; an amazing feat considering the frigid temperatures that characterize most of their range at this time of year! The Gray Jay has been the mascot for the CWHC since its inception in 1992. It is resilient, inquisitive, and diverse in its habitat but not flashy; sentiments which truly represent the values of our organization. It shows that the CWHC’s focus extends to a range of species large and small and wildlife health issues prominent and lesser known.


Check Out More of Robbie Craig’s Artwork

Artwork by Robbie Craig has previously been featured in the CWHC’s 2014-2015 Annual Report (http://www.cwhc-rcsf.ca/docs/annual_reports/2014_2015_CWHC_Annual_Report_EN.pdf), and you can find all of Robbie’s work on his website: http://www.rcraig.org/

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