584. SIBERIAN JAY.
Perisoreus infaustus (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 138 (1766) ; (Naum.) xiii. p. 215, Taf. 350 ; (Gould), B. of E. iii. pl. 215 ; Dresser, iv. p. 471, pl. 253 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. iii. p. 103 ; Tacz. F. O. Sib. O. p. 507.
Unglucks-Heher, German ; Ulykkesfugl, Dan. ; Lavskrige, Norw. ; Lafskrika, Swed. ; Gnovsak, Lapp. ; Kuukainen, Kusan-kanarhi, Finn. ; Rousha, Russ.
Male ad. (Lapland). Crown and nape sooty brown ; back and under parts lead-grey, rump and upper tail-coverts fox-red, as are all the tail-feathers except the two middle ones which are lead-grey ; the rest tipped with grey ; wings sooty brown, the outer webs of the quills fox-red, the wing- coverts chiefly red ; abdomen, flanks, and under tail-coverts rufous ; beak and legs black ; iris brown. Culmen 1.05, wing 5.6, tail 5.7, tarsus 1.4 inch. Sexes alike. The young bird is duller and paler in colour.
Hab. Scandinavia north into Lapland, of rare occurrence in Denmark and N. Germany ; in Asia across the entire continent south to Saghalien and the Amoor.
Frequents the conifer woods, and is by no means shy, but affects the camps of hunters, being most familiar, and the huts of the Lapps, where it can feed on the meat hung up to dry. It feeds on larvae, small mammals, berries, etc., and is said to kill and devour young birds. Its cry is very varied being sometimes a cheerful kook kook, and at others a melancholy, and somewhat harsh tjah, tjah. Early in the spring whilst the snow is still on the ground it commences nidification, its nest, which is placed in a tree, close to the stem, being constructed of twigs and grey lichen, intermixed with a few feathers and a little grass, and lined with lichen and a little hair. The eggs, 3 to 5 in number, are dull white or pale greenish white with purplish grey shell-markings and well defined hair-brown surface-spots and blotches, and in size average about 1.24 by 0.85.
The Siberian bird (P. infaustus sibiricus, Tacz.) is as a rule rather clearer and greyer in colour than the European bird, but cannot be separated from it even subspecifically.
584. Perisoreus infaustus
584. SIBERIAN JAY.