Wildlife Wednesday: Blue Jays

You catch that glint of blue out of your eye and when you turn and look there you see the majestic Blue Jay. There are many beautiful birds here but my favorite is the Blue Jay – probably because my favorite color is blue. We haven’t seen a lot of them up here – so you have to keep your eyes peeled!

  • Blue jay measures around 9.8 – 11.8 inches (25 – 30 cm) in length.
  • The wingspan measures around 34 – 43 cm (13.4 – 16.9 inches).
  • Blue jay weighs around 70 – 100 grams (2.5 – 3.5 oz).
  • Blue jays migrate in flocks consisting thousands of individuals around the Atlantic coasts and great Lakes. However, most of their migrations are still a mystery. Few of these species, however, do not migrate as they are present all year round. The young jays migrate in large numbers as compared to adults.
  • They also feed on nestlings and eggs of other birds but we are not sure how common this habit is among jays. Blue jays primarily feed on nuts and insects which also form their regular diet.
  • These colorful birds are talented enough mimic calls of hawks with Red-shouldered hawk in particular. These sounds help other jays to keep alert from hawks.
  • Blue jay is bold and noisy bird; flies around 32 – 40 km/h when disturbed. The slow flight of jays makes them easy prey for predators that tend to catch them during flight. Some of the most common blue jay’s predators are cats, opossums, crows, snakes, tree squirrels, Accipiter hawks, and raccoons.
  • Sometimes, they may sound beneficial to other birds in that they scream all around when predators are nearby. Blue jays often become aggressive towards human when they approach their nests. Seldom do they attack smaller birds.
  • Being highly curious, blue jays are one of the most intelligent birds like corvids.
  • The longest lived blue jay was 17 years and 6 months old.
  • They are often referred to as ‘Nest-robber’.
  • They are capable to store acorns in their mouth. Blue jays can also store 5 acorns at a time for later feeding.

 

 

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