Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)

 

Blue Jay

The Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) is in the Passeriformes order and Jays, Magpies and Crows (Corvidae) family. As indicated by the Latin genus name, the Blue Jay is cyan (blue) above with bright blue, white and black on the wings. It has a prominent crest and black facial markings. Its breast and bottom are white to grayish white. They grow to about a foot (30cm) long.

Blue Jays prefer oak forests but can be found where oak trees are present but are not predominate. There are a few oaks around French Hill Pond that attract Blue Jays. They are also attracted to bird feeders and will drive smaller birds away. They eat seeds as large as acorns and will bury food they don't eat. However, the jays often forget where they buried food and are, therefore, responsible for planting numerous trees and shrubs. Blue Jays dislike predators and will attempt to drive them away. For example, cats will cause Blue Jays to become very noisy and they may dive at the animal. Bird watchers are often helped by noisy Blue Jays when searching for roosting owls or other birds of prey.

The Blue Jay nest is made of sticks lined with grass hidden in the crotch or in branches of a tree. The female will lay four or more spotted green eggs.

Blue Jays migrate in the spring and fall. However, the local summer population will move south in the fall and be replaced with Blue Jays from farther north. Therefore, Blue Jays appear to live at French Hill Pond year round.

 

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