Blue jay is a common large songbird that makes noisy calls to warn the other birds and animals about danger.
They are a familiar and noisy presence around many North American bird feeders. The blue jay's "Jay! Jay!" call is only one of a wide variety of sounds the bird employs—including excellent imitations of several hawk calls.
Why should I be aware of this?
- Blue Jays are known for their intelligence and complex social systems with tight family bonds. Their fondness for acorns is credited with helping spread oak trees after the last glacial period.
- Blue jays sometimes store acorns in the ground and may fail to retrieve them, thus aiding the spread of forests.
- Thousands of Blue Jays migrate in flocks along the Great Lakes and Atlantic coasts, but much about their migration remains a mystery. Some are present throughout winter in all parts of their range. Young jays may be more likely to migrate than adults, but many adults also migrate. Some individual jays migrate south one year, stay north the next winter, and then migrate south again the next year. No one has worked out why they migrate when they do.
All about Blue Jay
Blue jay is a bright and colorful bird that is native to South America and belongs to the Corvidae family. It is scientifically known as Cyanocitta cristata. This common, large songbird is familiar to many people, with its perky crest; blue, white, and black plumage; and noisy calls. The bird has a prominent crest on the head, plumage with lavender-blue to mid blue, black and white colors and a white face. It has a black collar that continues around the head and across the throat. Blue jay is an intelligent and curious bird that makes tight family bonds
Blue jays are sometimes known to eat eggs or nestlings, and it is this practice that has tarnished their reputation. In fact, they are largely vegetarian birds. Most of their diet is composed of acorns, nuts, and seeds—though they also eat small creatures such as caterpillars, grasshoppers, and beetles.
Common in much of eastern and central North America, blue jays are gradually extending their range to the Northwest. They are fairly social and are typically found in pairs or in family groups or small flocks. Most northern birds head south for the winter and join in large flocks of up to 250 birds to make the long journey. However, this migration is a bit of a mystery to scientists. Some birds winter in all parts of the blue jay's range, and some individual birds may migrate one year and not the next.
- It is difficult to differentiate between a male and female blue jay bird, as both of them are almost the same. The only distinguishing feature is that the male is slightly larger than the female.
- The bird is known to mimic the sound of hawks, to scare and mislead the other birds that a hawk is close-by. This sound is usually heard when a blue jay is in search of food.
- It is territorial in nature and would often chase off the enemy (cats, dogs and sometimes, even humans), if found near its nests or food sources.
- Blue jay is aggressive and dominant in nature and would turn off many of the backyard birders.
- The bird stands proudly as the mascot of various sports groups, like the Toronto Blue Jays, Canadian Professional Baseball Team, etc.
- Blue jay makes monogamous and long lasting pairs that are for life and would break only when one of the partners dies.
- The pigment in Blue Jay feathers is melanin, which is brown. The blue color is caused by scattering light through modified cells on the surface of the feather barbs.
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- Facts about Blue Jay