Blue Jay

Blue JayCyanocitta cristata
Large, noisy, intelligent; blue jays are a polarizing bird for many bird enthusiasts that either admire them for their beauty, intelligence and complex behaviours or frown upon them for emptying bird feeders in the blink an eye and for their dominant attitude around feeders which can keep other birds at bay.

Identification

Blue jays are unmistakable; they are large songbirds with a distinctive crest on their head. Their colouration lives up to their name, a blue back with black and white markings and a grey to white belly. Males and females appear alike and cannot be distinguished, juveniles look similar to the adults but with duller colours.

Diet

Blue Jays are omnivores, they eat pretty much anything they can get their beaks on: invertebrates, berries, seed, grains and will occasionally raid the nest of other birds to steal eggs and nestlings.

Where to find them

Very adaptable bird, blue jays can be found in a variety of habitats throughout the year. They frequent various forest types, field edges and residential areas, finding them is often simply a question of listening as they are quite vocal. They are also quite social and are often found travelling in small groups.

Nesting

Blue jays begin nesting early, usually in April or May; they build a rather large cup nest formed mainly of twigs with some other materials mixed in. Blue jays will usually only nest once during a season, nests usually contain 3-5 eggs. The egg colour can vary from light brown to greenish with brown flecks.

How to attract

Blue jays can easily be attracted with bird feeders. They are particularly fond of peanuts (shelled or with husk) and sunflower seeds. Due to their size they will favour platform style bird feeders or feeders with large edges.