The Royal Canadian Geographic Society says its choice for Canada's national bird epitomizes the best of the country's national traits: smart, hardy and friendly.

The Society says the gray jay, also known as the whiskey jack, was the winner of a two-year search for a fitting avian Canadian representative.

The gray jay, once known as the Canada jay and the "wisakedjak" of folklore in indigenous cultures, is found in the boreal forests of Canadian provinces and territories but nowhere else on the planet.

The robin-sized cousin of the raven and crow has the same brain-to-body ratio as dolphins and chimpanzees and is lauded for its friendliness and intelligence. The gray jay spends its entire life in the Canadian woods.