AVMA Releases Guidelines on Canine
The AVMA today
releasted management guidelines for canine influenza that are available
As indicated in the
document, this was a cooperative venture between the AVMA, CDC, and
researchers at Florida and Cornell and therefore represents the most
up-to-date information available at this time. We will continue to
update the document as information comes in.
AVMA also expects to
have a backgrounder that is similar to the other backgrounders they have
produced ready to go within the next few days.
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About the Photo in This Issue...
northern coniferous forests, the Gray Jay is a bird of considerable renown.
Until recently, its official name was Canada jay, as its range is
predominantly Canadian. Certain races of this non-migratory bird inhabit
forested areas in the United States, especially at altitudes where the
vegetation and the climate correspond to those of the Canadian coniferous
The Gray Jay’s fearless and venturesome behavior towards people living and
working in the forest has earned it many informal names. "Whiskey-Jack" is
the best known, said to come from the mispronunciation of the Indian name "wiss-ka-tjon"
or "wis-ka-chon" turned into "whiskey-John." The bird is also known by half
a dozen other names, such as "venison-hawk," "grease-bird," "lumberjack,"
"meat-bird," all of which allude to the bird’s habits and its taste for
Fir trees and the Gray Jay belong together. Wherever the black spruces grow
around bogs and muskegs, or there are dense stands of white spruce and
balsam fir, the inquisitive Gray Jay may emerge to greet a visitor.
On the ground the Gray Jay hops. Its movements are bouncy. Among the trees
its flight is soft and soundless. It floats to the ground, flipping its long
tail over its back to regain lost balance. Deftly banking around tree trunks
and other obstacles, the jay sails on set wings. Often with peculiar
buoyancy the bird hops from one branch to the other upwards in spirals to
the top of the tree. The jay rarely crosses large open spaces but when it
does, its flight is flapping and direct.
Wherever found, the Gray Jay is resident the year round. It is most often
encountered singly or in pairs. After nesting, it is sometimes seen in
flocks composed of families. The jay’s wintering range is much larger than
its nesting territory. During the fall and winter it may cover quite
extensive areas in search of adequate support. On rare occasions these
travels may turn into notable southward migrations. At this time primarily
the Gray Jay, in search of food, appears at the camps of lumber crews, fur
trappers and hunters within its winter range. Bold and hungry, the jay
investigates the premises and steals meat from caches, or hiding places, and
stores. The hunter, bending over his kill, may hear a soft note, look up and
find the jay sitting there, waiting to gorge upon the warm internal organs.
A farmer may see the jay fly in through an open barn door and help itself to
meat and fat from a newly slaughtered carcass. And the jay may spring the
trap the fur trapper just set, in its effort to pilfer the bait in the trap.
These practices have earned the jay a name for petty thievery. Yet few wild
birds are as safe from human persecution. Some native people regard the Gray
Jay with such deep respect that they will not give away the secret of a
nest; much less harm the bird itself. Trusting and easily tamed, the Gray
Jay is good company for people in lonely places.
The Gray Jay stores much of its food. Holes pecked by woodpeckers have been
found crammed with bread and other items. The hollow at the top of a
broken-off stump is another favorite hoarding place. Mouthfuls of food it
does not want to eat at once are turned over until well coated with saliva.
The jay then stores these sticky packages on ledges, in crevices or among
the needles of evergreens, where they remain well preserved. Sometimes the
jay buries them.
photographed this Gray Jay in Lake County, Minnesota in February 2003.
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