Blue Jay

Cyanocitta cristata

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Code 4

BLJA

Code 6

CYACRI

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Blue Jay has a very large range, extending to around 6,700,000 square kilometers. It prefers a boreal temperate, subtropical, tropical forest ecosystem and is native to North America, Saint Pierre, and Miquelon. The global population of the Blue Jay is estimated to be 22,000,000 birds and evidence indicates that the population is on the rise, meaning that the bird does not meet the criteria for the IUCN Red List. It currently has an evaluation level of Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Blue Jay: Medium, 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. Direct flight with steady and bouyant wing beats. Glides between perches or to the ground.


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.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"jay, jay, jay", "thief, thief, thief!"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Captive jays have been observed using tools and strips of newspaper to rake in food pellets from outside their cages.
  • The Blue Jay's coloration is not derived by pigments, but is the result of light refraction due to the internal structure of the feathers; if a Blue Jay feather is crushed, the blue disappears as the structure is destroyed.
  • They will sometimes prey on eggs and nestlings of other birds’ nests.
  • A group of jays has many collective nouns, including a "band", "cast", "party", and "scold" of jays.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Blue Jay

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Santiago Cornejo

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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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.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X