Canada Jays are found primarily in mature, humid, sub-alpine, spruce forests. They do not generally breed below 2,000 feet, and are most often found from 3,000 feet and above to the tree line, although some are found nesting locally in lowland habitats.
Canada Jays are gregarious and are often found in family groups. They can be very bold and will beg from campers, follow hikers, and go inside cabins to steal food. These jays forage from perches and fly from tree to tree, scanning for food. They cache food during the summer and fall, using sticky saliva to paste it in bark crevices and other hidden spots, and they eat this stored food through the winter. Canada Jays often carry food with their feet in flight, which is unusual for songbirds.