Blue Jay: Medium-sized, noisy jay with bright blue upperparts, pale gray underparts, distinct head crest, and neck surrounded with a curious black necklace. Black-barred wings and tail have prominent white patches. Sexes are similar.
Range and Habitat
Blue Jay: Resident species east of the Rockies, from southern Canada south to the Gulf of Mexico, but is slowly encroaching westward. Breeds as far north as central Canada. During winter, may travel into the Pacific Northwest. Preferred habitats include evergreen forests, farmlands, groves, and suburbs.
Breeding and Nesting
Blue Jay: Three to seven brown marked, light blue green or green blue eggs are laid in a coarsely built nest made of sticks, lined with grass, and well concealed in a tree, often a conifer. Incubation ranges from 16 to 18 days and is carried out by both parents.
Foraging and Feeding
Blue Jay: Feeds on fruits, nuts, seeds, insects, mice, and frogs; sometimes robs other nests for young birds and eggs. Opens nuts by holding them in place with feet and hammering the shell with bill.
Cracked Corn, Suet, Sunflower Seed
Blue Jay: Calls include raucous, harsh cries, and a rich variety of other sounds. Also makes a musical "queedle-queedle."
Blue Jay: Steller's Jay has dark underparts. Western and Florida Scrub-Jays lack crests.