Blue Jay - A Beautiful Backyard Bird




The blue jay is a larger backyard bird.

It is native to North America, primarily in the eastern and central part of the country. They also range from southern Canada to the southern parts of the United States and you can find them as far west as western Montana and the eastern parts of Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico.

They live and breed in mixed woods and forest edges plus they can live and thrive quite well in urban areas. These song birds typically are monogamous and bond for life.











The blue jay is mostly blue with white breasts and underparts and has a black u shaped collar around their neck.


They have a blue crest on their head that can show you three different moods:

* When relaxed, feeding and resting the crest will sit flat on their head.

*Their crest may be fully raise if they feel aggressive or excited.

* If they are frightened their crest will bristle outward kind of brush like.


Fun Fact: Their blue color does not come from pigment, but rather it is the result of distorted light.


The distortion is actually caused by the specific structure of their feathers. If you destroy that structure by crushing the feathers the blue color will go away.

Blue jays are a smart bird. They will watch you eat, wait for you to leave, then they will swoop down and take any food you left behind. Actually they have been known to watch you plant seeds in a garden and after you leave go dig them up.

They can be very territorial birds that tend to chase other birds away from your feeders and they can even be aggressive towards humans should you get to close to their nests.

They have quite a loud and unique scream they use as a warning signal when hawks are in the area. Even other birds recognize this call and know to take cover when they hear it.

Actually this bird is smart enough to be able to mimic the call of a hawk and they have also been known to mimic humans as well.



Fun Fact: These birds are a slower flying bird. This can make them easy prey for hawks and owls.







They really do love their peanuts.


Food

Blue jays like a variety of food to eat. They enjoy nuts, acorns, corn, grain and other seeds. The blue jay has a very strong beak enabling it to crack these harder types of food open. They like other types of food as well. They will eat soft fruit, berries, bread and peanuts.

Actually they will also eat insects like beetles, grasshoppers and caterpillars. Blue jay birds have been blamed for raiding other nests and eating the eggs or young birds in there, but that really has been proven to be a seldom occurrence.

Typically this bird feeds off of trees and shrubs, however they are a ground feeder as well.


If you want to attract them to your feeder the best type to use is a platform or hopper feeder.


These are what they prefer to eat out of and these are the feeders that can hold the type of food they like.


Nesting

Blue jay birds will use twigs, bark, grass, sticks, leaves and roots to make their nests. They make their nest in a open cup shape and they can be located at a height of anywhere from 8 to 30 feet high.

Actually the male helps build the nest. He will initially bring some special twigs to the female and if the area proves to be suitable they will then build their nest together. They typically lay 2 to 7 eggs and the eggs are blueish or light brown in color with brown spots.


Fun Fact: These birds have been known to go find something white to put on the outside of their nests.


If you want to attract a blue jay to your yard having the right kind of birdhouse could go a long way. They can be obnoxious birds to have around your feeders, but they are pretty song birds.

The best way to bring them in is to buy an open type birdhouse that is basically a nesting platform. These can be attached to a shed or A tree. Just know they should be in a area not prone to predators and it should be an area that offers shade.

I would place the platform at least 12 feet high.

You can actually make these nesting platforms yourself if you prefer. Make a platform about 10" x 10" leaving the front and sides open. I would put a sloping roof on it to protect the birds from the elements. This should be 8" to 10"" above the platform.

Well we hope that you have found our thoughts and information helpful. Please take some time to look around the other areas of our site as well.

Happy Birding :-)


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