A Morning with Canada's National Bird...

Over the past month or more I have been spending a lot of time in and around Butterpot Provincial Park. This park is located about 15-20 mins outside of St.Johns, Newfoundland. Its thick, mature Boreal forest is what has attracted me to the area for Song Bird Photography. This past weekend I decided to make a trip further into the park and take one of their scenic hikes up to what is called Butterpot Hill. I had no set species in mind but more just to take a walk and see what was deeper in this lush area. The hike takes you through dense forest, across bogs and marshes which are great habitats for all types of birds.

The morning started off with thick fog and little to no wind (cell phone image of the sun pushing through the fog)

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About 5 mins into my hike I stopped at a clearing to do a short video on the types of areas I enjoy to photograph Song Birds in when I heard the distinct call of Canada’s National Bird the newly renamed bird the Canada Jay..previously called the Gray Jay.


For anyone that has spent anytime around these birds will know that they are bold, curious and love to steal a meal. They are often known to hang around campsites stealing food or looking for a free handout.

On this morning I was fortunate enough to watch this pair of Canada Jays feeding two fledglings (Unfortunately the young stayed hidden among the trees so no images of the interactions or them).

I spent 15 mins watching the parents hop around from perch to perch in search of food


I decided it was time to move on as my trek was going to be a 6 km hike and I only had a short amount of time to do it in.

The forest was mainly quite as I often find on calm days but I did hear a number of Yellow-bellied Flycatchers. This particular individual was on the hunt over a boggy area along the trail and provide some great looks which was nice since I have very few images of them.


Before long I reached my destination as I hadn’t planned to hike all the way to the top of the hill. I took a quick rest at the edge of this small pond (cell phone image of the pond below)

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which I found off the beaten path. The water was so calm and hearing the sounds of the song birds just felt like heaven. I didn’t want to leave but I knew I had a good hour or more to walk back.

I had no luck with any other song birds along the way but as I reached the location of the Canada Jays I saw earlier in the morning sure enough out they came to the edge of the trail. Here is an image of one taken with my cell phone

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I decided to snap a few more images of this curious couple and I particularly liked this portrait.


It was nice to finally have some decent images of a Canada Jays. In fact when I got home to upload my images I realized I hadn’t taken an image of a Canada Jay in 6 years.

All in all it was such a beautiful and peaceful morning filled with great photo ops.