Blue Jay

Cyanocitta cristata

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Code 4

BLJA

Code 6

CYACRI

ITIS

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Breeding Location:

Forests, coniferous, Forest edge



Breeding Type:

Monogamous, Solitary nester



Breeding Population:

Widespread



Egg Color:

Pale blue green or green blue with brown marks



Number of Eggs:

3 - 7



Incubation Days:

16 - 18



Egg Incubator:

Both sexes



Nest Material:

Twigs, bark, moss, grass, and sometimes paper and string.



Migration:

Migratory



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General

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.

Readily Eats

Cracked Corn, Suet, Sunflower Seed

Vocalization

Blue Jay: Calls include raucous, harsh cries, and a rich variety of other sounds. Also makes a musical "queedle-queedle."

Similar Species

Blue Jay: Steller's Jay has dark underparts. Western and Florida Scrub-Jays lack crests.

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UnderpartsX
Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.
UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
CrestX
Tufts of feathers on the head of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X