Blue Jay

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image: bluejay.jpg

Common Name: Blue Jay
Scientific Name: Cyanocitta cristata

Size: 10-12 inches (25-30cm)

Habitat: Northern America; found east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada. Prefers oak, deciduous and conifer forests and urban areas and is found more commonly at forest edges than deep in the interior.

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: 22,000,000. Surveys show a slight but significant decline in Blue Jay numbers across the United States, with most of the decline in the East. Nest predation is a suspect. Protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty of 1918 in the United States.

Diet: Seed, nuts and insects.

Breeding: Male and female look alike. They built nests of open cup of twigs, grass, and sometimes mud lined with rootlets. Nets usually have 2 to 7 eggs.

Cool Facts: There’s a love/hate relationship with humans and Jays because their bold behavior. Most people believe jays are nest robbers, but in a recent study only 1% of jays were found to have eggs or nestlings in their stomachs.

It’s common knowledge that Blue Jays migrate with thousands of them moving past some points along the Eastern coast, however not all Jays migrate and which do and don’t is a mystery to ornithologists. Younger jays are more likely to migrate and while most adults do, some don’t. Some skip migration one year then migrate the next.

Blue Jays are known to mimic the calls of hawks. It is believed that these calls provide information to other jays that a hawk is around, or that they are used to deceive other species into believing a hawk is present.

It is said the tool use is a sign of superior intelligence and while tool use in birds is rare, captive jays are known to have use them. They will take used strips of newspaper to rake in food fallen from outside of their cages. Besides jays, parrots, ravens and crows are known for tool use.

Found in the original Songbird Remix

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