The Blue Jay

April 23, 2014

The Blue Jay is a large songbird native to North America. They are easily recognizable by their mostly blue plumage, broad and rounded tail with a white chest and underparts. They are smaller than crows but larger than robins. Blue Jays are known for their intelligence, noisy calls, complex social systems and fondness for acorns. Sometimes Blue Jays are referred to as jaybirds.

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The Blue Jay occupies a large variety of habitats, they are found in all kinds of forests especially near oak trees. They have even been credited for spreading oak trees during the last glacial period. They are more abundant near forest edges than in deep forests and has expertly adapted to human activities so that they can be seen in parks and residential areas.

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The Blue Jays have a strong black bill that they use for gathering food, cracking nuts and acorns. They basically eat just about every known plant, seed, weed, fruit and small invertebrate. They also sometimes raid nests of other birds for eggs and nestlings and sometimes pick up dead or dying adult birds. They also store food in caches to eat later.

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Blue Jays start mating mid-March and extend to July. They are not very particular with their nesting area, any suitable tree or bush can be used for nesting however they do prefer the evergreen. Both sexes build the nest together but only the female incubates them.

The Blue Jay can make a number of sounds and can even copy the cries of hawks which they use to test if a hawk is in their territory or to scare other birds away from their territory or food source.

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