new icn messageflickr-free-ic3d pan white
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) | by Brian Carruthers-Dublin-Eire
Back to photostream

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)

Scientific classification

Kingdom:Animalia

Phylum:Chordata

Class:Aves

Order:Passeriformes

Family:Corvidae

Genus:Cyanocitta

Species:C. cristata

Binomial name

Cyanocitta cristata

 

Songs

A raucous jay-jay, harsh cries, and a rich variety of other calls. One is almost identical to the scream of the Red-shouldered Hawk and the calls of Broad-winged Hawk, Also a musical queedle-queedle.

 

FamilyCrows, Magpies, Jays

HabitatOak and pine woods, suburban gardens, groves, towns. Breeds in deciduous or mixed woods, avoiding purely coniferous forest. May be in fairly low or scrubby forest in southern part of range. Favors habitat with many oak or beech trees. Often common in well-wooded suburbs or city parks.

One of the loudest and most colorful birds of eastern back yards and woodlots, the Blue Jay is unmistakable. Intelligent and adaptable, it may feed on almost anything, and it is quick to take advantage of bird feeders. Besides their raucous jay! jay! calls, Blue Jays make a variety of musical sounds, and they can do a remarkable imitation of the scream of a Red-shouldered Hawk. Not always conspicuous, they slip furtively through the trees when tending their own nest or going to rob the nest of another bird.

 

Feeding Behavior

Forages in trees and shrubs and on ground. Comes to feeders for seeds or suet. Pounds on hard nuts or seeds with bill to break them open. Will harvest acorns and store them in holes in ground.

 

Eggs

4-5, sometimes 3-7. Greenish or buff, sometimes pale blue, spotted with brown and gray. Incubation is by both parents (but female does more), about 16-18 days. Young: Both parents bring food for nestlings. Young leave nest 17-21 days after hatching.

 

Young

Both parents bring food for nestlings. Young leave nest 17-21 days after hatching.

 

Diet

Omnivorous. Most of diet is vegetable matter (up to 75% of diet for year, higher percentage in winter), including acorns, beechnuts, and other nuts, many kinds of seeds, grain, berries, small fruits, sometimes cultivated fruits. Eats many insects, especially caterpillars, beetles, grasshoppers, and others; also eats spiders, snails, birds' eggs, sometimes small rodents, frogs, baby birds, carrion, other items.

 

Nesting

Courtship may involve aerial chases; male may feed female. Blue Jays become quiet and inconspicuous around the nest, but will attack with loud calls if the nest is threatened by a predator. Nest site is in tree (either coniferous or deciduous), placed in vertical crotch of trunk or at horizontal fork in limb well out from trunk; usually 8-30' above ground, sometimes 5-50' up. Nest (built by both sexes) is a bulky open cup made of twigs, grass, weeds, bark strips, moss, sometimes held together with mud. Nest is lined with rootlets and other fine materials, often decorated with paper, rags, string, or other debris.

265 views
0 faves
0 comments
Taken on May 6, 2019