[order] Passeriformes | [family] Corvidae | [latin] Perisoreus infaustus | [UK] Siberian Jay | [FR] Mésangeai imitateur | [DE] Unglückshäher | [ES] Arrendajo funesto | [IT] Ghiandiaia siberiana | [NL] Taigagaai

Taigagaai determination

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Noticeably smaller, slighter, and proportionately longer-tailed than Jay, with much shorter, more pointed bill. Smallest and most delicate of west Palearctic Corvidae; rather drab brown-grey, with rufous-chestnut near wing-bend and on under wing-coverts, rump, and sides of tail setting bird ,on fire' in flight.

In de broedtijd hoofdzakelijk dichte naaldbossen. Broedt vroeg in het jaar, lang voor de sneeuw is gesmolten. Buiten broedtijd vaak nabij menselijke nederzettingen.

Perisoreus infaustus is a widespread resident in Fennoscandia and Russia, with Europe accounting for less than half of its global range. Its European breeding population is large (>340,000 pairs), but underwent a moderate decline between 1970-1990. Although there were declines in Sweden during 1990-2000, and the trend in Russia was unknown, there was no evidence to suggest that it declined significantly overall. Nevertheless, its total population size probably remains below the level that preceded its decline.
The Siberian jay is a highly sedentary resident across higher latitudes of the western Palaearctic. It redominantly inhabits northern boreal and sub-alpine coniferous forest between Norway in the west to the Pacific and upper Omolon River in the east. Occupation of permanent all-purpose territories in this harsh environment is made possible by the bird's food storage behaviour.

Omnivorous all year. Captures and kills small mammals and small passerines up to size of tit; also plunders nests for eggs and nestlings. Feeds from all kinds of carrion. Takes variety of arthropods, largely insects. Plant material forms substantial portion of diet, especially various berries occurring in coniferous forest. Marked tendency to store food. Food-storing so intensive that it has been suggested that Siberian Jay overwinters successfully largely because of stores, and uses them to prepare for breeding and rearing young. Storing occurs in spring as well as in autumn and winter. Food stored in trees; typical hoarding sites are bark crevices, in lichens, or among conifer needles. Food carefully concealed and rendered almost invisible, small pieces of bark and lichens being used to cover hoarded items.

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 10,000,000 km². It has a large global population, including an estimated 680,000-1,400,000 individuals in Europe (BirdLife International in prep.). Global population trends have not been quantified; there is evidence of a population decline (Madge and Burn 1993), but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]

The egg laying period normally starts in the first half of April while the terrain is still snowbound. Parents produce a single brood per season with a variable butsmall clutch size range: 1-5. Incubation feeding by males allows females to incubate their eggs and newly hatched chicks almost continuously. Older nestlings (> 7 days) are provided with food by both parents. Fledging takes place in mid May through early June 18-24 days after the first chick has hatched. Offspring is provided with food for about 3 weeks after fledging. Most first-year birds disperse within 8 weeks after fledging.

Breeds across higher latitudes of west Palearctic, and is predominantly at all seasons a bird of coniferous forest, mainly of Norway spruce and Scots pine but also of larch and downy birch. Favours dense stands of forest, unmodified by man, rather than open growth. Contrasts with Jay in lack of fear of man, readily attaching itself to human travellers and their living quarters, but this has little effect on choice of habitat since normal range is largely uninhabited by people.

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