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The Gray Jay, and outrage erupts with the announcement.

And Canada's new national bird is....

Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Friday, November 18, 2016, 1:27 PM - After a two-year search, and around 50,000 total votes cast, the Canadian Geographic Society's recommendation for Canada's national bird might be a bit of a surprise to those who've never heard of it.

The gray jay, or whiskey jack, was proclaimed the winner of the contest this week (though the federal government has not yet accepted the recommendation).

Though unexpected, the society makes a pretty strong case for the little guy. Unlike other better known species, for example, the breed stays in Canada year-round. Aside from a few offshoots into Alaska and the mountainous western U.S., it's mostly found across Canada, in every province and territory. 

It makes its home in Canada's arboreal forests, which cover two thirds of the country, and weathers our often brutal winters quite well. It's also important in Indigenous Canadian cultures and unlike other popular choices, like the loon or snowy owl, it is not currently the official bird of any province.

Many Weather Network viewers and readers have submitted shots of the gray jay over the years. Here are our favourite shots.

Nicole Watson

Nicole Watson

Alex Boudens

Jim Middleton

Duane Larson

Chris Parlow

Marc Tremblett

SOURCE: Canadian Geographic

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