Even if you don't have the opportunity to get that great pic festivals are still a lot of fun. It is a refreshing change of pace to hang around with people who are interested in birds and nature. Most people in my normal life do not pay any attention to the birds, although I am working on trying to change that.
Since I was not sure if what kind of photo opportunities that I was going to get at the festival I did go up early on Friday to have some time to shoot on my own as well as making a couple of trips up to the bog in January. These pictures where all taken on January 10th.
One of the more common birds that you can find in the bog most winters is the gray jay. This member of the Corvidae family can typically be found in the boreal forests of Canada and Alaska as well as the upper elevations of the Rocky Mountains. There is usually a small population that comes down from Canada in search of food and spends the winter in northern Minnesota.
The gray jay is able to survive the harsh winters of the north by caching food. They use their saliva, which is sticky, to glue food, which consists of carrion, insects, berries, nestling birds, mice or other small mammals, to hiding places in the trees.
If the temps get to high much of their cached food will get rancid which is probably why these birds stay in habitats with a cold climate. So while many birds have to fly south during the winter in order to find food in warmer climates the gray jay depends on the cold in order to keep a constant food source available to them.