Birds: Blue Jays
The Blue Jay is considered by many to be the rudest bird in the yard. The quarrelsome Blue Jay is recognized by its bright blue crest. Learn more!
Considered by many to be the rudest bird in the yard, the quarrelsome Blue Jay is recognized by its bright blue crest. This colorful bird has a black beak, bright blue wings and tail edged with white. It is predominantly blue above and whitish below. Its wings are barred with black and white. It has a black necklace that extends around behind the face and the crested head is gray blue with a purple tint. This large bird is a relative of the magpies and crows. They are a common bird that eats mostly insects, seeds and nuts. But during the spring it will add to its diet the eggs and young of other species.
The Blue Jay is a noisy bird, often screaming.. "jay, jay" and making itself very visible in gardens and woodlands alike. Everywhere it is seen it has the same mischievous disposition. Imitating the cry of the Sparrow Hawk perfectly, it sends smaller birds in the neighborhood hurrying to thick cover to avoid what they believe is an attack by a marauder. This bird will rob every nest it can find and suck the eggs like a Crow. It has been known to tear small hatchlings to pieces and devour them.
The reduction and fragmentation of some forests have given the Blue Jay and other nest robbers more access to the nest of other woodland birds. They will forcefully take the nest of other birds and the male will feed the nesting female. The male is rarely found incubating the eggs. Prior to nesting they will store a cache of food to feed the female and hatchlings. The nest is cup shaped and usually found on a branch or in the crotch of a deciduous tree or shrub. The female lays four or five either greenish and buff or bluish spotted eggs. Blue Jays travel in small flocks but group with their families in late summer and early fall.