You know, I've seen them do a greedy thing with pieces of bread. There are four subspecies of blue jays; the coastal blue jays, the northern blue jays, the interior blue jays, and the Florida blue jay which is the smallest subspecies. Your comments and vote are so very much appreciated. Blue Jays can make a variety of sounds and it is common to hear them mimicking hawks, especially the Red-shouldered Hawk. Blue Jay eyeing seeds in the squirrel baffle/seed catcher tray. I must admit that I look forward to hearing it again every year. You will need a ground bird feeder or a large bird feeder to support blue jays. Hmm. They will also occasionally use these calls to scare other birds away from food sources that the blue jays have come across. I give you a big round of applause for saving that nest full of baby blue jays!! I often make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for them with the 2 end crusts of bread. I have hung a larger, saucer type bird feeder on the other side of the house with dried bread, scraps for fruit and nuts, but still no blue jays. Some blue jays are permanent residents of their range, but others will form into flocks ranging between 5 and 250 in order to migrate southwards. Very clever birds! Blue jays sport colorful blue plumage on their crest, wings, back, and tail. Blue Jays are often considered to be among the most intelligent birds. Blue jays eat their young. I saw many blue jays when I lived in PA, however I have not seen any here where I live in NC. These mountains are full. I am touched that these are some of your favorites--we share a love of nature and birds and all things of this Earth and Beyond. However, they are prone to hawks and eagles, especially when … Jays are corvids – members of the crow family. Eggs are laid and incubated for 2 to 3 weeks and fledge for 17 to 21 days. calls but also other familiar oddball noises that resemble gurgles, rattles, and squeaky gates. Blue jays have been tarred with a dirty brush for many years, accused of robbing other nests, of murdering and eating baby birds, of hogging the feeder and of stealing shiny things from your yard. It's great that you can enjoy them year round. I always got a kick out of the Blue Jays, because they would swoop down and catch a peanut in mid-air if I threw it. I have to find him again and study him. They use alternate routes and decoy locations so that no predator can easily follow them to the nesting site. Presumably they are using the insects to catch and remove lice and other irritating parasites. But most rogues have redeeming characteristics, and jays are no exception. If the bird is relaxed, the crest is laid flat on the head. I am so glad you stopped by and commented. On the other hand, Blue Jays do indeed cause problems for eggs and nestlings of other birds. It is no wonder that they are very often depicted on holiday greeting cards! He downed several peanut halves and then took off. Alternatively, you can put some seed on the ground in order to attract them. Aren't they just the most beautiful shades of blue?! They will be back many times during the day with their now familiar ‘keeyeer’ to scatter the smaller birds--self-proclaimed kings and queens of the backyard bird feeder! With their pinkish plumage, and characteristic flash of blue, they will be familiar to many people as woodland birds that are increasingly seen in gardens, even in cities. They love shiny objects and will often incorporate bits of foil wrappers into their loose twig nests. I hope the recent storms have moved away from your area, and that you enjoy a wonderful upcoming weekend ;) Pearl. Ornithologists suggest they do this for one of two reasons, or perhaps both. Young are altricial, and are brooded by the female for 8–12 days after hatching. do not have true crops. I love my blue jays, and they are indeed beautiful birds. Last year the wind blue their babies to the grass. Blue jays will mimic the calls of predatory raptors in order to test whether or not their predators are nearby. We also have the cardinals, doves and many other birds. They have fooled me more than once with their clever impersonations. Blue jays also imitate the two-syllable scream of the red-tailed hawk. Presumably they are using the insects to catch and remove lice and other irritating parasites. I have one that visits now and then that is almost an aqua color. Thank you for sharing this charming article with us, and I hope you have a fabulous week. Maybe they aren't blue jays? Their crown and crest are gray-blue. Pearl. They also have their own form of insect control. But blue jays have a wonderful array of other vocalizations, none of which sound at all like the raucous jeer. www.highlandscashiersproperties.com. KerryAnita from Satellite Beach, Florida on November 14, 2012: Wow, I just learned a lot about blue jays! Jays are very sociable birds and so have many different calls, and can imitate other birds, especially other crows. This is for a simple reason, since acorns are not present all year-round, blue jays have to store them for later feeding. If the jay is frightened, the crest bristled out in all directions. Blue Jays, like other birds, use their strong bills for cracking seeds, nuts, and acorns for food. That gives them additional oils that help their feathers stay in tip-top shape; and the fats maintain warmth and energy levels. I have photographed the blue Jay in my place too in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. The first theory is the mimicry serves as a warning to other jays about any lurking hawks. When 530 Blue Jay stomach contents were analyzed in a 1922 study, traces of bird eggs or nestlings were found in only 6 stomachs — barely 1 percent, even though the researchers specifically looked for egg and chick matter. I have seen you on Bill's site (billybuc), as well as Joe's, so I decided to see some of your bird posts. Very clever birds! I was working in the yard, sawing branches off a weedy mulberry tree I’d let get way out of control. It is so nice to see their beautiful blue coloring against the white snow. They love to decorate! Captive Blue Jays sometimes learn to imitate human speech and meowing cats. The first time it happened, I was actually trying to throw it to a squirrel, so it caught me off guard! Shop for Wild Bird gifts in our wildlife store. I didn't know the birds could mimic other ones so well! Voted up and awesome. Aravind Balasubramanya from Puttaparthi, India on September 02, 2011: Your comment led me to this beautiful bird! In Eastern Ontario and the blue jays at our cottage imitate our cats meow...perhaps keeps the other critters away from the bird feeder. Take care. What we do know about their vocalizations, however, is very interesting. The sounds they were making with each other were beyond my scope so I had just made a couple sound patterns that I could muster. Blue jay eggs may be predated by squirrel, cats, crows, snakes, raccoons, possums, hawks, and various raptors and mammals. Blue Jays frequently mimic hawks, especially Red-shouldered Hawks. Like other members of the corvid family, jays are pretty good mimics; they commonly … @Larry Fish, yes, in WNC we have plenty of Bluejays. jay! Blue jays have very strong black bills, which can crack nuts and acorns. Blue jays typically live in small flocks, and are highly protective of their nesting site. Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on March 07, 2013: I too, love to watch the beautiful blue jays. They are also fond of other birds’ eggs, so it is a good idea to provide protection in the way of bird houses and nesting boxes. We also have mockingbirds who mimic sounds. It was obvious that 2 of the jays were much more subdued in their coloring, especially on the sides. Did you know that blue jays often comb their feathers with ants? Setting seeds on a ledge may do the trick. I can only imagine how long it took that female to finally decide which male blue jay was to be her mate. It was then I knew I had been fooled by one of the best and most versatile mimics in the bird world. The wing and tail feathers are bright blue with white andblack bands. There are four subspecies of blue jay: the northern blue jay, which live in Canada and the northern U.S. and has fairly dull plumage and pale blue coloration; the coastal blue jay, which lives on the southern coast of the eastern united states and is vivid blue; the interior blue jay, which lives throughout the midwest U.S.; and the Florida blue jay, the smallest subspecies, which is similar in color to the northern blue jay. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Interested in Blue Jay Gifts & Decor? I'm gad I did! During the latter part of the winter, you may be lucky enough to hear their song, which comprises squeaky, clucking sounds. Adult Blue Jays are preyed on by owls, cats, and hawks, but baby Blue Jays are preyed on by snakes, raccoons, opossums, crows, and squirrels. When I lived in Connecticut recently, I visited the park across the street often. They do not consume all the acorns they take rather they start burying acorns in large numbers than those eaten. It has been found that younger blue jays are more likely to migrate than adults, however it could be that the jays most likely to survive to older age are those that don't migrate as frequently. Blue jays live in deciduous, coniferous, and mixed forests throughout the eastern and central areas of the United States, and southern Canada. Guess this one was extra hungry! The second is that jays are trying to fool other species into thinking there are hawks nearby. Burying stores of food to be unearthed later when food sources are scarce is another tactic employed by these large 11” to 12” birds. Blue jay nests incorporate bits of thread, and all kinds of found objects. In addition to being raucous and sometimes aggressive, blue jays can be gentle and quiet. I have a cardinal that I see near my patio about every day. How interesting:). Thanks so much for sharing. Maybe once spring is officially here, they will come back again. I really enjoy reading this hub. Connie Smith (author) from Southern Tier New York State on November 14, 2012: Hi thumbi7! Blue jays need to either have large bird feeders, or ground feeders. Blue Jays are disliked by many people for their aggressive ways, but they are far less aggressive than many other species. Their colors are so vibrant, and their sounds can sometimes be crazy depending upon what they are mimicking! This makes them both very interesting and hard to capture and study (Kroodsma, 2005). These birds can make hunting difficult. What a sweet and caring thing you did for the blue jays bridalletter! Blue jays typically fly at speeds of 20-25 miles per hour. However, Blue Jays don't shy away from using this ability to their advantage. Blue jays will occupy almost every bird-feeder east of Rocky Mountains. Blue Jays are amazing birds for sure. Connie Smith (author) from Southern Tier New York State on March 07, 2013: So glad to see you sg! But I love their colors and their crazy mimicry. They have a black-collared neck, and the black extends down the sides of their heads - their bill, legs, and eyes are also all black. calls, Blue Jays make a variety of musical sounds, and they can do a remarkable imitation of the scream of a Red-shouldered Hawk. On several occasions I have attempted to take its picture, but it grabs a piece of food and flies away before I can capture its beauty! I didn't know about the Indian blue jay. This noisy bird also utters a wide variety of squeaks, rattles, and croaks. When it lands at the feeder, all the other birds naturally scatter. torrilynn, so glad you stopped by! I was reminded of how talented this bird is just the other day. They have an easy time foraging for food where we live. Visit the Blue Jay section of our wildlife store! — L. Mann, Dexter, Michigan. They each flew from branch to branch cooing softly and trying to get closer to her. It is a very unique sound. If you’re concerned that the scrub-jays have driven off the other birds, there are things you can do. Connie Smith (author) from Southern Tier New York State on September 03, 2011: This is fascinating to me. You must be a true bird lover, and a kindred spirit ;). I suspected they could, as I'm pretty sure I heard back from 1 of the 3 in my new area,. However, blue jays have also been known to attack or kill other smaller birds and sleeping, foliage-roosting bat species such as Lasiurus borealis. Some birds have been heard to imitate hawk calls. Blue Jays can imitate calls of their predators, especially hawks, and may use these calls to test whether or not these predators are in the area. I am so glad to meet you, and to learn about your wildlife encounters. Blue Jays can imitate the sounds in their environments, and one thing they mimic is hawk calls. Blue jays are naturally raucous birds and as humans, we tend to humanize animals, seeing human characteristics in them and applying adjectives … When both colorful cardinals and blue jays appear on a grey, snow-covered day, it is a sight that helps the winter months seem not quite so long. I have no clue but they are so entertaining. Not much work has been done on the vocalizations of Blue Jays and most of the research that has been done is unpublished work by graduate students. Walking deeper into the woods as quietly as I could, I stopped often to home in on the insistent sounds. Much of blue jay migratory behavior remains a mystery - some blue jays may migrate one year, then stay in their home range the next, then migrate another year. The coloration of the blue jay comes from light interference due to the internal structure of their feathers - if a feather is crushed, it will not maintain its blue coloration. Your supportive comments, votes and shares are certainly very much appreciated. Last year's batch of blue jays yielded a bird that I call my 'whistling jay'. Blue jays will attack humans if they get too close to their nesting areas. The Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) is a large, crested songbird native to North America with bright blue coloration. The other morning I followed the sound of what I thought to be a baby hawk, possibly in distress. Blue jays, like all members of the corvid family (crows and ravens, etc.) I'm pleased you enjoyed this and learned some new things about these beautiful birds. © 2015 American Expedition, a brand by Ideaman, Inc. ∙ 7 Cedar Ct. Union, MO 63084 ∙ Toll Free US: 1-800-205-4332 ∙ International: 1-636-583-1145. My blue jays were decidedly absent most of the milder part of the winter this year. Adult Blue Jays are k… Thank you so much for your visit and comment. I am sure you have some very lovely birds as well. Blue jays are highly curious birds, and young blue jays have been known to play with bottle caps and aluminum foil. I also learned a lot. The clutch may be two to seven eggs, which are blueish or light brown with brown spots. These blue jays are very blue & it looks like all over and very defined peak on their elegant heads. Blue jays can be raucous, and their “jay jay jay” screech can be heard for quite a distance. Jays have a white face, black collar, blue wings and back with a blue tail trimmed with white and black feathers. Blue jays are occasionally known to attack other birds that are smaller in size. They mimic hawks to scare away other birds. There will be as few as three or as many as seven olive-green eggs covered with brown spots. When blue jays have lots of natural food available, they go for that before they head for the feeders. Blue Jays prefer nesting in … Their antics uplift my soul. I hoped to catch a glimpse of a juvenile hawk, or at least the nesting site. In the garden, we are more likely to hear their "krar krar" alarm call. Up and interesting votes. Red Dead Redemption 2 Small bird farming spot Cardinals, woodpeckers, sparrows, songbirds, bluejays. I cut it up into bird-manageable pieces and watch the fun! They also have their own form of insect control. My clever blue jays never cease to amaze me with their beauty, aggressive raucousness and mimicry. Connie Smith (author) from Southern Tier New York State on June 20, 2013: Kathryn, I am so pleased you stopped by to visit me and my 'birds'! Blue Jays can imitate calls of their predators, especially hawks, and may use these calls to test whether or not these predators are in the area. Your visit is very much appreciated. Blue jays most often have a monogamous breeding partner for life. Acorns disappear typically in late summer. Blue Jay Habitat and Distribution . Make sure there is a source of water nearby for the birds to drink and bathe in. I heard back sounds I had made to them last week or more. At first I was stumped. I remember when I first a Blue Jay hopping from peanut to peanut on the deck rail. When the crest is erected, making a prominent peak, the bird is excited, surprised, or aggressive. She stills feeds and studies them every day. Maybe more over in the mountains there are some. Compare the Blue Jay's many calls below. He would finally decide on one and fly away with it. One day I finally saw a blue jay making the call when I zeroed in on the sound. Its similarly hued cousin on the West Coast, the California Scrub-Jay, is also common and only slightly less abrasive. I know that jays are long-lived, and my phone dialer is the proof! During breeding season they become quiet, especially when near their nests. The pair gently floated downwards in a spiral of unfurled wings, landing on the ground and then retreating to separate branches. Blue Jays visit the bird feeders frequently in the wintertime. Then I knew. If crushed, the blue feathers will turn brown. It is wonderful to connect to the beautiful spirit that you are, my dear friend. Others suggest an altruistic motive: Jays imitate hawks to warn other birds that a hawk has been spotted and it’s time to take cover. Orioles and Cardinals in MLB may fear Blue Jay bats but real orioles and real cardinals have more pressing concerns. I'm not at all sure where he picked it up, but it is interesting that he has adapted it as his own personal voice. Blue jays are known to be beautiful, intelligent, and highly aggressive birds. Thank you! You have a great image of the jay. Thank you so much. It builds an open cup nest in the branches of a tree; both sexes participate. prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on March 07, 2013: I am birds lovers. The blue jays eggs are 1.8 – 2.2 cm (0.7 – 0.9 inches) wide. The Blue Jay is known as a loud and aggressive bird. He also catches wood boring bees, which are large bumble-bee like, annoying bees. By sounding like a hawk, blue jays easily scatter other birds at the feeder. As soon as nesting is in full swing, they will need the extra boost you have kindly provided for them; and hopefully you will be rewarded for your patience. Blue jays will sometimes eat eggs and nestlings of other birds, but this is rare. It was an interesting experience. Connie Smith (author) from Southern Tier New York State on March 08, 2013: prasetio30, I am so glad you stopped by to enjoy reading about these beautiful and clever birds. Blue Jays make a large variety of calls. In the wild, they often mimic Red-shouldered and Red-tailed hawks, and sometimes other species. How do Blue Jays survive winter? I found this place when I was looking for info about blue jays ie: can they mimic? They jam as much into their beaks as possible, and then try for more, especially if there are other birds around! I am glad they find our yards appealing and useful. Retrofit your feeders or buy new ones that exclude larger birds. Judging by your very enjoyable comments, you are a person after my own heart. Besides their raucous jay! Its also called the Indian roller and though beautiful, it is different from the blue jay you have pictured. Thanks for writing and share with us. Hunters don't particularly care for them as they not only frighten birds with their mimicking sounds, but also other wildlife. I'm sure you're right about spring. He was weighing them to find the largest ones! Blue Jays are medium-sized ranging in length from 9 to 12 inches. I've always thought that they were such pretty birds, but who knew that they were such good impersonators, or used ants to clean themselves! Try watching from a window instead of sitting next to the feeder. We seem to share a great love of nature. Here in North Texas I've discovered that one of our blue jays imitates the calls of crows and grackles. Blue jays are very cautious birds and will not approach feeders if humans are near. I'm so glad you enjoyed this article. They are occasional predators. I bring bird food (and bread sometimes), and whole peanuts. Blue Jays are known to imitate a variety of other bird species, including the Bald Eagle and Eastern Screech-Owl. Blue jays will often force smaller birds away from bird feeders, but will typically stay away from the feeders and wait their turn when other medium sized birds, like woodpeckers, are feeding. This happened several times as each male took turns trying to impress the female with body bobbing and soft comforting sounds. In addition to seed and grain feeders, blue jays enjoy eating from suet feeders as well. The blue jay's coloration is due to the inner structure of its feathers, which refracts light. However, much to my surprise it was not a red-shouldered hawk that flew out of the tree, but a blue jay uttering the same shrill but nasal ‘keyeer, keeyeer’! This gives them the freedom to dine at their leisure with little to no competition. Connie Smith (author) from Southern Tier New York State on January 21, 2013: Hi TheSavvySongbird! Will share this nice hub with my followers. Your supportive and awesome comments make my day. Did you know that blue jays often comb their feathers with ants? Thanks for the great info & picks. Nice that you help feed them in the northern winters. My coworker Nancy has a compost pile in her backyard where she has seen Blue Jays repeatedly … Blue Jays will imitate hawks to warn other birds that a hawk is in the area and they need to take cover or to scare predators away. Blue jays are villains – winged brigands with a penchant for raiding the nests of other birds to devour eggs and nestlings. I have never seen one at one of my bird feeders though. How prevalent is this? Researchers believe they do this to warn other jays in their family and flock that danger is near. Even though they are a bit aggressive at the feeders, I love their beautiful colors and their mimicry. Sometimes I can distinguish the males from the females, but not always. Brenda Kyle from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA on March 06, 2013: I have a pair that always stay around and feed. Distinguishing characteristics of the blue jay include the pronounced blue crest on their heads, which the blue jay may lower and raise depending on mood, and which will bristle outward when the bird is being aggressive or becomes frightened. You have beautiful picture as well. I loved reading about your blue jay experience. Make sure to clean bird feeders often to avoid spreading disease or having the food become unappealing due to mold and clumping. What interesting birds. They will also occasionally use these calls to scare other birds away from food sources that the blue jays have come across. I'm so glad you stopped by and left such a great comment. He would pick one up and then put it down and then move to the next. While talking with my coworker about Blue Jays, I became curious about these fascinating birds. The jay is also known to imitate hawk calls. Connie Smith (author) from Southern Tier New York State on January 06, 2012: I am so glad you stopped by, Apostle Jack. Some suggest that there is no ulterior motive other than to merely imitate sounds they heard, including the hawk calls. The length of the eggs measures about 2.5 – 3.3 cm (1 – 1.3 inches). I learned something from you--I had no idea that blue jays would catch food in midair! Apostle Jack from Atlanta Ga on January 06, 2012: Your story bring to my thoughts about the blue jay that comes to a place in my yard where I feed the birds and squirrels and such,and they are a wonderful sight.They eat a little and then get a mouthful and take off in the woods.They return again and again,as do the red bird and the sparrow.The baby birds are a greater amazement to me because of their small intellect. One particular area was my favorite. They are very much appreciated. When flying alone, blue jays are subject to predation by hawks, eagles, and other raptors, however when in groups they will 'mob' much larger birds in order to fight them off. Thank you for your votes and your great comments; they are very much appreciated my friend! The upper parts are bluish gray and brightest on the rump. It has a specialized whistle that I've never heard before. I watched as two males vied for the attention of a beautiful soft gray-blue female. But now that it is cold and snowy, they are at the feeders daily. Both the male and female gather the materials and build the nest. Most East Coast folks have met a Blue Jay before, whether it was bullying other birds at their feeders or aping raptor calls and dive-bombing sparrows and robins in the canopy. Blue jays prefer to nest in evergreen trees and shrubs 10 to 35 feet off the ground. I loved your article and the photos were supurb. Great work and here's to so many more hubs for us both to share on here.Have a great day. I occasionally add peanuts as a treat for them. I probably should have expected it, though, because they are very intelligent and charmingly opportunistic birds. This is what I learned. Blue Jays can be very aggressive to other birds; they sometimes raid nests, and they have decapitated other birds. When flying alone, blue jays are subject to predation by hawks, eagles, and other raptors, however when in groups they will 'mob' much larger birds in order to fight them off. :). I have a few around the house here from time to time. Some people have theorized that blue jays may migrate if their winter food sources become scarce, or if weather conditions are harsh. I enjoyed it. Additionally, what is the best type of bird feeder for Blue Jays? All three flew off together to another spot in the woods to repeat the same dance. or to scare away predators or people that approach their nests. Blue jays are large for songbirds, typically measuring between 9 and 12 inches long, and weighing between 2.5 and 3.5 ounces. Its distinctive crest is used as a communication tool to convey the bird’s mood. I finally reached the spot where the hawk sounds were the loudest. 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And aggressive bird they also have the Cardinals, woodpeckers, sparrows, songbirds,.... The trick the animals interesting and hard to capture and study ( Kroodsma, 2005.... New area, and discovers a blue tail trimmed with white andblack bands snow... The length of the blue jays can be very aggressive to other jays about any lurking....
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