Blue Jays are a popular and common song bird at home backyard bird
feeders. They are easily identifiable. Bird watchers love this
attractive bird that sports a bright, light blue color. They
are also frequent, but unwanted visitors to home gardens of gardeners who grow corn and
sunflowers. Blue jays are considered smart and intelligent birds. They
are quite aggressive. You can watch them intimidate and scare other
smaller birds away from your feeders.
Blue Jay Trivia: Odd as it may seem, Blue Jays are not
blue. They refract light in such a way as to make them appear blue.
Blue Jay Identification:
When it come to
backyard birds, blue jays are on the larger size. Their size is between
that of a robin and a crow. They have a length of 9-12", and a wingspan up to 17".
Blue Jays are readily identifiable. They are a bright, light blue, with a
white underbelly. There is a U-shaped black ring on their necks. The
feathers on the wings are blue with some white tips, and black stripes.
The tail feathers have black stripes. Their short, stout, cone
shaped beak is perfect for cracking seed shells and nuts. Their feet are
designed for perching in trees.
Even when you can't see them, you can hear their loud, noisy
call. It's certain to scare smaller birds away from your feeder.
There are four major varieties of Blue Jays:
Northern Blue Jay, in the Northeast U.S. and Canada.
Coastal Blue Jays can be found from North Carolina
Interior Blue Jay is found in the middle parts of the
Florida Blue Jay makes its home in southern Florida.
Blue Jay's Habitat:
Blue Jays can be found in many parts of the country east of the
Mississippi river. Most blue jays are year round residents, although a
few will migrate south for the winter.
Blue jays are common visitors to backyard birdfeeders. It helps to
attract them, with a few trees and bushes. Blue Jay's favorite
habitat is open woodlands and the edge of forests. They like most
trees, except for coniferous trees. Blue Jays have also adapted to cities
and urban environments with trees and wooded parks.
Got an oak tree? Then, you are bound to have a pair or two of blue jays
visiting your yard, to snack on the acorns.
In the wild, the average lifespan of blue jays is 7 years. But, they have
been known to live up to 17 years.
State Birds: Like me, I'm sure
you will be amazed to find that the Blue Jay is not
listed as the official state bird for ANY of the U.S. states!
Blue Jay Diet:
Blue Jays absolutely love acorns and peanuts. They are very fond of
sunflower and many other seeds. They are opportunistic birds, and will
on occasion eat bugs, snails, bird eggs, young hatchlings, and a
variety of other foods.
Reproduction and Nesting:
Blue Jays normally mate for life. After a mating ritual , the female
selects a male to mate with. After mating both male and female build the
nest together. The female lays 4-6 bluish green eggs with brown spots.
The female sits on the nest during the entire 17-18 day incubation
period. While she is on the nest, the male feeds her. After the eggs
have hatched, both male and female bluejays tend to the hatchlings. The
young birds leave the nest after about 3 weeks. The parents will
continue to feed the young birds for another month or two.
Falcons, hawks, and owls are common predators. Occasionally, snakes
raccoons and a few other animals will prey on bluejays, too.