Alberta grey jay web cam may be a first, thrilling online fans – Calgary

A recently installed web cam in central Alberta may be the first to capture the breeding behaviour of Canada’s unofficial national bird, the grey jay, and online fans around the world are tuning in.

“I was extremely excited,” biologist Myrna Pearman with the Ellis Bird Farm told The Homestretch, when she learned there was a fresh grey jay nest near a home in Caroline, Alta.

“I have never seen a grey jay nest before so I asked if I might be able to come and have a look at this nest and they graciously obliged.”

It was about two metres off the ground and 20 metres from the house.

“I thought it would be a perfect location to actually set up a web cam,” Pearman explained.

So with the help of the property owners, Pearman figured out the best time to install a camera without disturbing the birds.

“We had a narrow window of opportunity,” Pearman said.

“They had been busy working on their nest since the end of February.”

On Monday, a viewer from San Francisco emailed to share that a third egg had been laid. (

They waited until the birds left the nest for a bit and made their move, mounting a camera in the tree using electrical tape.

“In the first five minutes, one of them came back and just started hammering on it. And we are like, ‘Oh, all of this work and effort and they are just going to demolish it,’ but it just lost interest after about 20 pecks,” she said.

“There is no light on it and it’s all black. Since then they have completely ignored it.”

“At 9:50 a.m. on Saturday, one week after we put in the camera, a web cam viewer called and said she just laid her first egg. Then Sunday, she laid her second egg in the late afternoon,” Pearman explained.

A web cam fan from San Francisco emailed to share that a third egg had been laid Monday.

“It takes about 18 to 19 days for the eggs to hatch, so it looks like we are not only going to have Easter bunnies this year, we are going to have Easter…

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