Habitat

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Blue Jays are found in all kinds that forests however especially close to oak trees; they’re much more abundant near forest edges 보다 in deep forest. They’re common in urban and suburban areas, particularly where oaks or bird feeders room found.Back come top

Food

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Blue Jays glean insects and also take nuts and seeds in trees, shrubs, and also on the ground; they also eat grains. They likewise take dead and also injured small vertebrates. Blue Jays periodically raid nests for eggs and also nestlings, and sometimes choose up dead or dice adult birds. Stomach materials over the year are around 22 percent insect. Acorns, nuts, fruits, and also grains do up practically the whole remainder. The 530 stomachs examined, traces of bird eggs and nestlings were uncovered in just 6 stomachs, return a find was specially created every possible trace that bird remains. Blue Jays hold food items in feet while pecking lock open. They save food in caches come eat later. Ago to top

Nesting

Nest Placement

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Blue Jays develop their colonies in the crotch or thick outer branches the a deciduous or coniferous tree, normally 10-25 feet over the ground. Male and also female both gather materials and also build the nest, however on mean male does more gathering and female an ext building. Twigs provided in outer component of swarm are normally taken indigenous live trees, and birds often struggle to rest them off. Birds may fly great distances to achieve rootlets from freshly dug ditches, fresh graves in cemeteries, and newly please trees. Jays might abandon their swarm after detecting a surrounding predator.

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Nest Description

Open cup of twigs, grass, and sometimes mud, lined through rootlets.

Nesting Facts


Clutch Size:2-7 eggs
Number of Broods:1 brood
Egg Length:1.0-1.3 in (2.5-3.3 cm)
Egg Width:0.7-0.9 in (1.8-2.2 cm)
Incubation Period:17-18 days
Nestling Period:17-21 days
Egg Description:Bluish or irradiate brown with brownish spots.
Condition in ~ Hatching:Naked and also helpless, eyes closed, mouth lining red.

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Behavior

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This common, huge songbird is acquainted to plenty of people, with its perky crest; blue, white, gray, and black plumage; and also noisy calls. Blue Jays are known for their intelligence and facility social systems, and also have tight household bonds. They frequently mate for life, remaining with their social mate transparent the year. Just the woman incubates; she mate provides all her food during incubation. Because that the an initial 8–12 days after the nestlings hatch, the mrs broods them and also the male gives food because that his mate and also the nestlings. Female share food gathering after this time, but male proceeds to provide much more food than female. Some individual nestlings start to hover as much as 15 feet indigenous the colony 1-3 days prior to the brood fledges. Even when these birds beg loudly, parents may not feeding them until they go back to the nest; this is the phase at i beg your pardon many world find an “abandoned baby jay.” If it can be revived to or close to the nest, the parents will resume feeding it. The brood usually leaves the swarm together usually once they room 17-21 days old. When young jays leave the nest before then, it might be due to the fact that of disturbance. The jays space usually farther than 75 feet native the nest by the end of the 2nd day the end of the nest. Young continue to be with and are fed by their parents because that at the very least a month, and sometimes two months. Over there is apparently a lot of individual sports in how easily young become independent. Blue Jays connect with one another both vocally and also with “body language,” using their crest. As soon as incubating, feeding nestlings, or associating with mate, family, or flock mates, the comb is organized down; the reduced the crest, the lower the bird’s aggression level. The greater the crest, the greater the bird’s aggression level; once a Blue Jay squawks, the comb is virtually always held up. Blue Jays have a wide variety of vocalizations, through an enormous “vocabulary.” Blue Jays are additionally excellent mimics. Captive Blue Jays sometimes discover to imitate human speech and also meowing cats. In the wild, they frequently mimic Red-shouldered and Red-tailed hawks, and also sometimes various other species. Blue Jays are disliked by many world for your aggressive ways, yet they are much less wild than plenty of other species. In one Florida study, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Red-headed Woodpeckers, Florida Scrub-Jays, usual Grackles, and gray squirrels strong dominates Blue Jays at feeders, often staying clear of them from obtaining food, and also Northern Bobwhites, Mourning Doves, White-winged Doves, northern Mockingbirds, and Northern Cardinals occasionally conquered them together well. Sometimes Blue Jays mimic hawks as soon as approaching feeders. This might deceive other birds into scattering, allowing the Blue Jay come take end the feeder, yet most birds conveniently return after ~ the jay starts feeding. Blue Jays lug food in their throat and also upper esophagus—an area often called a “gular pouch.” They may store 2-3 acorns in the pouch, one more one in your mouth, and one much more in the guideline of the bill. In this means they can bring off 5 acorns in ~ a time to store for later feeding. 6 birds v radio transmitters every cached 3,000-5,000 acorns one autumn. Their fondness for acorns and also their accuracy in selecting and burying acorns that have not been infested with weevils are credited with spreading oak tree after the critical glacial period. Despite being common, conspicuous birds that have been learned by plenty of researchers, much about Blue Jays remains a mystery. This is the only brand-new World jay the migrates north and also south, and huge flocks are observed paris over plenty of hawkwatch spots, along shorelines, and also at other migration overlooks, however their migrate is very poorly understood. Some people remain year-round transparent their entire range, and also at the very least some people depart throughout spring throughout your entire selection except peninsular Florida. Migrating flocks can include adults and young birds, and also recent analyses of activities of banded jays show that over there is no age difference in between jays the migrate and jays that stay resident. The ratio of jays that migrate is probably much less than 20 percent.Back come top

Conservation

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Blue Jay populations reduced by around 28% in between 1966 and 2015, according to the north American breeding Bird Survey. Partner in Flight approximates a worldwide breeding populace of 13 million, through 87% living in the U.S. And 13% life in Canada. The species rates one 8 out of 20 top top the Continental problem Score and is no on the 2016 State of phibìc America"s Birds" watch List. The most frequent reason of death connected with people comes from assaults by cats and dogs.

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Backyard Tips

Blue Jays choose tray feeders or hopper feeders ~ above a short article rather 보다 hanging feeders, and also they like peanuts, sunflower seeds, and also suet. Planting oak trees will make acorns accessible for jays that the future. Blue Jays regularly take drink from birdbaths. Find out more about what this bird likes to eat and also what feeder is ideal by utilizing the job FeederWatch typical Feeder bird bird list.

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Credits

Lutmerding, J. A. And also A. S. Love. (2020). Longevity records of phibìc American birds. Variation 2020. Patuxent Wildlife study Center, Bird Banding laboratory 2020.

Partners in trip (2017). Avian Conservation assessment Database. 2017.

Sauer, J. R., D. K. Niven, J. E. Hines, D. J. Ziolkowski Jr., K. L. Pardieck, J. E. Fallon, and also W. A. Connect (2017). The phibìc American reproduction Bird Survey, outcomes and evaluation 1966–2015. Version 2.07.2017. USGS Patuxent Wildlife study Center, Laurel, MD, USA.

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley guide to Birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, brand-new York, NY, USA.

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Smith, Kimberly G., Keith A. Tarvin and Glen E. Woolfenden. (2013). Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata), version 2.0. In The bird of north America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell laboratory of Ornithology, Ithaca, brand-new York, USA.