Included in Festival Registration.
Saturday May 4th, 4pm, North Star Theater
Many Alaskans are familiar with the Canada Jay (formerly Gray Jay), a denizen of the boreal forest of northern latitudes. Unlike their migratory counterparts, they are residents year-round, enduring the harsh winters. To survive in such a challenging environment, Canada Jays have adapted a unique lifestyle: they store (or cache) food throughout late summer and fall, collecting food items such as berries, fungi, insects, carrion, and animal flesh and storing them in trees. However, all these food items are perishable, or at risk of spoilage. This usually isn't a problem in a landscape characterized by long periods of deep freeze. However, with increasing temperatures, this may all be changing. While Canada Jays are a common backyard bird for many Alaskans, other jay populations in other parts of their range have been on a rapid decline. To understand the effects of a changing climate on Canada Jays, Denali initiated a study to learn more about the year-round requirements of this unique species. Understanding the interplay of jays' diet, their unusual caching strategy, jay foraging behavior as it relates to condition, female incubation behavior, and reproductive investment will all shed light on how this iconic resident species may be faring in a warming world.