3 Types of Grey Birds Found in Alaska! (2022)

Did you recently see a mystery GREY bird in Alaska?

Types of grey birds in Alaska

If so, I’m guessing you are trying to figure out how to identify the species correctly!

 

Well, you are in the right place. Below, you will learn about the types of GREY birds found in Alaska. I’ve included high-quality pictures and range maps to help you!

 

The list below focuses on the most COMMON grey birds, many of which are often seen visiting bird feeders. I did not include any birds of prey or water birds. If you need help with either of these types of birds, then check out the following articles:

 

3 Types of Grey Birds Found in Alaska:


#1. Dark-eyed Junco

  • Junco hyemalis

Birds that are grey in Alaska

Identifying characteristics:

  • Smooth and soft-looking slate gray with a white belly.
  • Small pale bill, long tail with white outer feathers.

 

Dark-eyed Juncos are probably the most common grey bird in Alaska. A recent estimate sets their population around 630 million.

 

You can easily identify these sparrows by how smooth their feathers look. It appears like they would be as soft as a chinchilla to touch. πŸ™‚

Dark-eyed Junco Range Map

dark eyed junco range map

This species is found in pine and mixed-coniferous forests when they breed, but in winter, they are in fields, parks, woodlands, and backyards. Dark-eyed Juncos like to visit feeders in the winter, but ONLY ON THE GROUND, where they consume fallen seeds.

 


#2. Black-capped Chickadee

  • Poecile atricapillus

Alaska grey birds

 

These grey birds are one of the most beloved species in Alaska, and it’s easy to see why! Black-capped Chickadees are often described as β€œcute,” They are tiny, with an oversized head that features a black cap and bib.

 

Naturally, look for them in open deciduous forests, thickets, and cottonwood groves. They also adapt easily to the presence of people and are common to see in backyards and parks.

Black-capped Chickadee Range Map

black capped chickadee range map

 

In fact, once you set up a new bird feeder, chickadees will likely be the first birds to visit, as they are curious about anything new in their territory. The best foods to use are sunflower seeds, peanuts, and suet. Their small size and athletic ability mean these birds can use just about any type of feeder!

 


#3. Canada Jay / Gray Jay

  • Perisoreus canadensis

grey birds in Alaska

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Paler grey on the belly. Darker gray on the backs.
  • White cheeks, throat, and forehead.
  • Short beak and a long tail.

 

It’s hard to describe a Canada Jay other than “cute.” These grey birds are really smart and adapt to their surroundings, which allows them to eat almost anything.

 

Seriously, they have been observed eating the following weird things: ticks off the back of a moose, baby bats, amphibians, baby birds, in addition to more normal foods like invertebrates, seeds, and berries.

Canada Jay Range Map

canada jay range map

Another interesting fact about this grey bird is that they raise their babies during late winter! And because they live so far north in the boreal forests, their chicks grow up in almost complete darkness. Interestingly, they don’t attempt to raise a second brood of babies in May or June, which is when most other species nest and conditions seem more favorable.

 

So do you call this bird a Canada Jay or Gray Jay? Well, the correct name is now Canada Jay, as the name was changed in 2018 by the American Ornithological Society from the Gray Jay. But old habits die hard, and many birders still refer to this bold corvid as a Gray Jay.

 


Did you find the grey bird you were looking for?

 

If not, you may want to purchase a field guide dedicated to bird identification (see link below). In this post, I focused on the most COMMON grey birds found in Alaska.

 


Which of these GREY birds have you seen in Alaska?

 

Leave a COMMENT below! Make sure to mention where the grey bird was seen. πŸ™‚

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