The Blue Jay

Written by on December 25, 2013 in Common Backyard Birds with 1 Comment

A common bird to most of North America, Blue Jays are distinctive in that they have blue feathers on their back. The color can range from a rich lavender-blue to a pale soft blue. Their breast feathers are white and they have a strong black beak.

Blue Jays belong to the Corvidae family, which also includes Crows and Ravens. Typically, their call is a bit harsh sounding to humans. But, their vocalizations are not as strong as Crows.

When you are backyard bird watching, the Blue Jay is a fun one to watch. As a Corvid, he is a curious and intelligent bird. He will investigate many different things and has been known to play with shiny objects. Blue Jays have a pronounced crest on their head which signals their mood. If you see the crest laid smooth on their head, you know they are relaxed. If it’s sprayed outward like a brush, you know the bird is frightened. When the crest stands upright, the Blue Jay is excited or aggressive.

Blue Jays are often beneficial to other birds. They have a loud, early warning signal that danger is approaching. Other birds make use of this signal to hide away from the danger. Blue Jays are also good at protecting their young by ganging up on predatory birds like hawks and owls and chasing them away.

As territorial birds, though, Blue Jays will also chase smaller birds away from a good feeding location, like your backyard bird feeder. This is a natural course. And one that isn’t necessary to interfere with or try to get rid of Blue Jays. Just keep your feeder loaded with plenty of food. When the Blue Jay has had his fill, he will leave and allow the smaller birds a chance to get in and eat.

 

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  1. Common Backyard Birds | April 18, 2012

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