Studies of less Familiar birds 162 Siberian Jay

Published on 01 January 1971 in Main articles

The Siberian Jay Perisoreus infaustus is a bird of the great belt of coniferous forest which stretches from Scandinavia east through northern Russia and right across Siberia. It breeds in Norway, Sweden and Finland from Lapland south roughly to 61°N (Lovenskiold 1947, Curry-Lindahl 1963, Merikallio 1958) with only occasional wanderings south of this line to the level of southern Norway, but in the Soviet Union it follows the more southerly spread of the conifers (Dementiev and Gladkov 1951-54). In European Russia it extends down to the region of Moscow and the southern Urals, and in Asia it breeds south to the Altai, northern Mongolia and probably north-east Manchuria, east to Anadyr, the Sea of Okhotsk, Sakhalin and Ussuriland (Vaurie 1959). In the north it nests up to the conifer limit and also occurs in areas of mountain birch Betula tortuosa where Ekmau (1944) said that it was not known to breed, though Blair (1936) found it ‘nesting in both birch woods and pine forests’ in the Syd Varanger. Most records from the birch are probably casual visitors from the conifers near-by. It is replaced in the mountains of China from central Sinkiang to northern Szechwan by the related Szechwan Grey Jay P. internigrans (Vaurie 1959), while a third species, the Canada Jay P. canadensis, occupies similar conifer habitats in North America from Alaska, Mackenzie and Labrador south to Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, Minnesota and northern New York (Bent 1946). In size, the Siberian Jay is rather smaller than the Jay

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