Camp Robbers

gray-jay-turquoiselake-2004sept13-lah-002We had been camping at Turquoise Lake, near Leadville, Colorado, high in the Rockies. As it was lunchtime, we spread out a tablecloth, set out a bowl of chicken salad (with chicken, grapes, celery, and pecans), and went to find the plates and forks. But as I returned to set the table, the salad seemed to be missing something… the pecans were gone! Seems we’d been victims of the camp robber!

“Camp Robber” is an apt nickname for the Gray Jay. Familiar residents of campgrounds throughout the coniferous forests across Canada and southward along the Rockies, these small jays aren’t the least bit shy. The birds have a tendency to not only accept handouts, but to brazenly help themselves to anything on your plate that looks edible.

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