All three flew off together to another spot in the woods to repeat the same dance. Blue jays love bread, crackers, any day-old bakery items! Its cries are used to warn other birdsand animals of danger, but are also often used for no apparent reason. The jay is also known to imitate hawk calls. I have seen you on Bill's site (billybuc), as well as Joe's, so I decided to see some of your bird posts. The blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata) is a crow-sized omnivorous bird, with one of the most varied diets of all avians. Blue Jays have an impressive vocal repertoire that includes not only many sounds beyond their raucous jay! She stills feeds and studies them every day. Blue Jays frequently mimic hawks, especially Red-shouldered Hawks. Your supportive comments, votes and shares are certainly very much appreciated. Maybe they aren't blue jays? Other Sounds. American Expedition is proud to present information, facts, habitat info, bird feeding tips and pictures of the Blue Jay. The jays we see in Britain are Eurasian jays. Connie Smith (author) from Southern Tier New York State on January 06, 2012: I am so glad you stopped by, Apostle Jack. Its also called the Indian roller and though beautiful, it is different from the blue jay you have pictured. Thanks for writing and share with us. Aren't they just the most beautiful shades of blue?! What a sweet and caring thing you did for the blue jays bridalletter! Jays are corvids – members of the crow family. That's a wonderful study. I enjoy watching them grab a bite to eat at the feeders before winging their way easily and gracefully through our woods. Blue jays live in deciduous, coniferous, and mixed forests throughout the eastern and central areas of the United States, and southern Canada. These species are considered to be intelligent and extraordinarily curious birds. Thanks for the great info & picks. Blue jays are highly curious birds, and young blue jays have been known to play with bottle caps and aluminum foil. The most often heard is a loud jeer, Also makes clear whistled notes and gurgling sounds. Thank you so much. Blue Jays can imitate calls of their predators, especially hawks, and may use these calls to test whether or not these predators are in the area. I have photographed the blue Jay in my place too in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. When it lands at the feeder, all the other birds naturally scatter. Blue Jays may snap their bills in intense aggressive displays. The wing and tail feathers are bright blue with white andblack bands. Blue Jays can imitate the sounds in their environments, and one thing they mimic is hawk calls. I can only imagine how long it took that female to finally decide which male blue jay was to be her mate. I learned something from you--I had no idea that blue jays would catch food in midair! When both colorful cardinals and blue jays appear on a grey, snow-covered day, it is a sight that helps the winter months seem not quite so long. I figure it's all part of the natural order of things. Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on March 07, 2013: I too, love to watch the beautiful blue jays. This jay has always imitated the sound of an old rotary phone being dialed. This happened several times as each male took turns trying to impress the female with body bobbing and soft comforting sounds. Connie Smith (author) from Southern Tier New York State on March 08, 2013: prasetio30, I am so glad you stopped by to enjoy reading about these beautiful and clever birds. Thank you for the Vote and your inspiring words. Your supportive and awesome comments make my day. I am sure you have some very lovely birds as well. Setting seeds on a ledge may do the trick. The first theory is the mimicry serves as a warning to other jays about any lurking hawks. Like us on Facebook for 5% off your order, Largest selection of rustic cabin decor on the web. The Blue Jay is known as a loud and aggressive bird. You have beautiful picture as well. Blue Jays have a bad rap, and they are considered 'bully' birds. Placing a feeder near shrubbery where birds can seek cover, or a tree where they can sit while they eat, will make the birds feel safer and more comfortable using your feeder. Others suggest an altruistic motive: Jays imitate hawks to warn other birds that a hawk has been spotted and it’s time to take cover. Connie Smith (author) from Southern Tier New York State on January 21, 2013: Hi TheSavvySongbird! The second is that jays are trying to fool other species into thinking there are hawks nearby. Alternatively, you can put some seed on the ground in order to attract them. Blue Jays are often considered to be among the most intelligent birds. You can attract Blue Jays with eggshells. He would pick one up and then put it down and then move to the next. But blue jays have a wonderful array of other vocalizations, none of which sound at all like the raucous jeer. Their favorites are sunflower seeds, peanuts, cracked corn, pieces of stale bread or baked goods, suet and berries. Some people have theorized that blue jays may migrate if their winter food sources become scarce, or if weather conditions are harsh. I'm so glad you stopped by and left such a great comment. Thank you! Did you know that blue jays often comb their feathers with ants? Very clever birds! Blue Jays are very secretive when it comes to building nests. I am so glad to meet you, and to learn about your wildlife encounters. When flying alone, blue jays are subject to predation by hawks, eagles, and other raptors, however when in groups they will 'mob' much larger birds in order to fight them off. The clutch may be two to seven eggs, which are blueish or light brown with brown spots. He would finally decide on one and fly away with it. While talking with my coworker about Blue Jays, I became curious about these fascinating birds. Connie Smith (author) from Southern Tier New York State on November 14, 2012: Hi thumbi7! Retrofit your feeders or buy new ones that exclude larger birds. It builds an open cup nest in the branches of a tree; both sexes participate. Blue Jays can make a variety of sounds and it is common to hear them mimicking hawks, especially the Red-shouldered Hawk. Blue jays eat their young. In the garden, we are more likely to hear their "krar krar" alarm call. Blue Jays prefer nesting in … Maybe more over in the mountains there are some. It is wonderful to connect to the beautiful spirit that you are, my dear friend. This gives them the freedom to dine at their leisure with little to no competition. I probably should have expected it, though, because they are very intelligent and charmingly opportunistic birds. They mimic hawks to scare away other birds. They will be back many times during the day with their now familiar ‘keeyeer’ to scatter the smaller birds--self-proclaimed kings and queens of the backyard bird feeder! I have hung a larger, saucer type bird feeder on the other side of the house with dried bread, scraps for fruit and nuts, but still no blue jays. I really enjoy reading this hub. Take care. I remember when I first a Blue Jay hopping from peanut to peanut on the deck rail. On several occasions I have attempted to take its picture, but it grabs a piece of food and flies away before I can capture its beauty! We bird lovers are kindred spirits I think! Blue jays will attack humans if they get too close to their nesting areas. How do Blue Jays survive winter? Blue Jays are medium-sized ranging in length from 9 to 12 inches. You know, I've seen them do a greedy thing with pieces of bread. Visit the Blue Jay section of our wildlife store! This is what I learned. Kathryn from Windsor, Connecticut on June 19, 2013: I love Blue Jays! Blue jays are villains – winged brigands with a penchant for raiding the nests of other birds to devour eggs and nestlings. I watched as two males vied for the attention of a beautiful soft gray-blue female. We seem to share a great love of nature. Their crown and crest are gray-blue. Captive Blue Jays sometimes learn to imitate human speech and meowing cats. Blue jays are occasionally known to attack other birds that are smaller in size. calls, Blue Jays make a variety of musical sounds, and they can do a remarkable imitation of the scream of a Red-shouldered Hawk. By sounding like a hawk, blue jays easily scatter other birds at the feeder. They have a black-collared neck, and the black extends down the sides of their heads - their bill, legs, and eyes are also all black. I bring bird food (and bread sometimes), and whole peanuts. In the wild, they often mimic Red-shouldered and Red-tailed hawks, and sometimes other species. I love my blue jays, and they are indeed beautiful birds. These mountains are full. Orioles and Cardinals in MLB may fear Blue Jay bats but real orioles and real cardinals have more pressing concerns. I hope the recent storms have moved away from your area, and that you enjoy a wonderful upcoming weekend ;) Pearl. Blue Jays are known to imitate a variety of other bird species, including the Bald Eagle and Eastern Screech-Owl. It is so nice to see their beautiful blue coloring against the white snow. This makes them both very interesting and hard to capture and study (Kroodsma, 2005). Blue Jays have strong bills. Blue jays most often have a monogamous breeding partner for life. We also have mockingbirds who mimic sounds. I cut it up into bird-manageable pieces and watch the fun! There's a pond, and I like to sit at one of the benches, and feed the animals. Just this morning as I was adding bird seed and a mixture of fruit and nuts to one of the feeders, a blue jay landed within inches of me! Blue jay eggs may be predated by squirrel, cats, crows, snakes, raccoons, possums, hawks, and various raptors and mammals. Not always conspicuous, they slip furtively through the trees when tending their own nest or going to rob the nest of another bird. They also have their own form of insect control. If the bird is relaxed, the crest is laid flat on the head. Apostle Jack from Atlanta Ga on January 06, 2012: Your story bring to my thoughts about the blue jay that comes to a place in my yard where I feed the birds and squirrels and such,and they are a wonderful sight.They eat a little and then get a mouthful and take off in the woods.They return again and again,as do the red bird and the sparrow.The baby birds are a greater amazement to me because of their small intellect. They do not consume all the acorns they take rather they start burying acorns in large numbers than those eaten. Blue Jays can be very aggressive to other birds; they sometimes raid nests, and they have decapitated other birds. Besides their raucous jay! For instance, when they are calm their crest will be flattened. The blue jay's coloration is due to the inner structure of its feathers, which refracts light. Acorns disappear typically in late summer. They are very much appreciated. He also catches wood boring bees, which are large bumble-bee like, annoying bees. They each flew from branch to branch cooing softly and trying to get closer to her. Blue jays also imitate the two-syllable scream of the red-tailed hawk. I'm not at all sure where he picked it up, but it is interesting that he has adapted it as his own personal voice. I am also saving these hubs as some of my favourite.Thank you so much for this wonderfully written articles Pearl. Make sure there is a source of water nearby for the birds to drink and bathe in. Most people don't realize that it is a myth about human scent, bird nests and baby birds. These blue jays are very blue & it looks like all over and very defined peak on their elegant heads. The first time it happened, I was actually trying to throw it to a squirrel, so it caught me off guard! Hi Peggy! Try watching from a window instead of sitting next to the feeder. With their pinkish plumage, and characteristic flash of blue, they will be familiar to many people as woodland birds that are increasingly seen in gardens, even in cities. Aravind Balasubramanya from Puttaparthi, India on September 02, 2011: Your comment led me to this beautiful bird! You must be a true bird lover, and a kindred spirit ;). Great work and here's to so many more hubs for us both to share on here.Have a great day. Last year's batch of blue jays yielded a bird that I call my 'whistling jay'. Some suggest that there is no ulterior motive other than to merely imitate sounds they heard, including the hawk calls. I also learned a lot. I give you a big round of applause for saving that nest full of baby blue jays!! Blue jays are very cautious birds and will not approach feeders if humans are near. I often make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for them with the 2 end crusts of bread. Many a birder has been fooled into thinking a hawk was around, and discovers a blue jay instead. © 2015 American Expedition, a brand by Ideaman, Inc. ∙ 7 Cedar Ct. Union, MO 63084 ∙ Toll Free US: 1-800-205-4332 ∙ International: 1-636-583-1145. Blue jays are large for songbirds, typically measuring between 9 and 12 inches long, and weighing between 2.5 and 3.5 ounces. As soon as nesting is in full swing, they will need the extra boost you have kindly provided for them; and hopefully you will be rewarded for your patience. Their loudness led the parents back and they fed and cared for them till they flew away. Blue jays are highly beneficial to other flora and fauna in their ecosystem: their characteristic 'jay' call warns other birds of predators, and their fondness of acorns is credited with spreading oak forests across North America. Blue jays will often force smaller birds away from bird feeders, but will typically stay away from the feeders and wait their turn when other medium sized birds, like woodpeckers, are feeding. I have a few around the house here from time to time. For at least 15 years now, every Spring there is a very special blue jay that comes to my feeder. Your comments and vote are so very much appreciated. It was then I knew I had been fooled by one of the best and most versatile mimics in the bird world. Thank you for the inspiration. We also have the cardinals, doves and many other birds. Ornithologists suggest they do this for one of two reasons, or perhaps both. That's a first--they usually wait until I move on to the next feeder. Blue jays are known to be beautiful, intelligent, and highly aggressive birds. They use alternate routes and decoy locations so that no predator can easily follow them to the nesting site. The coloration of the blue jay comes from light interference due to the internal structure of their feathers - if a feather is crushed, it will not maintain its blue coloration. Additionally, what is the best type of bird feeder for Blue Jays? Jays are very sociable birds and so have many different calls, and can imitate other birds, especially other crows. Make sure to clean bird feeders often to avoid spreading disease or having the food become unappealing due to mold and clumping. My clever blue jays never cease to amaze me with their beauty, aggressive raucousness and mimicry. When blue jays have lots of natural food available, they go for that before they head for the feeders. Blue Jays visit the bird feeders frequently in the wintertime. I loved your article and the photos were supurb. Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 06, 2013: We have the pleasure of seeing Blue Jays bathing in our birdbath in our backyard on a daily basis year round here in Houston. They love to decorate! do not have true crops. Sometimes I can distinguish the males from the females, but not always. Their calls include loud, strident “do-it” or “jaaaay” sounds as well as warbling chirps. It's great that you can enjoy them year round. Thank you for commenting and sharing; they are very much appreciated. They have fooled me more than once with their clever impersonations. There are over 440 defferent species of birds in NC. Jays have a white face, black collar, blue wings and back with a blue tail trimmed with white and black feathers. Not much work has been done on the vocalizations of Blue Jays and most of the research that has been done is unpublished work by graduate students. That gives them additional oils that help their feathers stay in tip-top shape; and the fats maintain warmth and energy levels. Pearl. Blue jays will mimic the calls of predatory raptors in order to test whether or not their predators are nearby. Compare the Blue Jay's many calls below. By sounding like a hawk, blue jays easily scatter other birds at the feeder. Hope the Indian Blue Jays are also great mimics. Sometimes here in the northeast, if the Winter is relatively mild, our blue jays will stay and frequent the feeders. It was fun and fascinating to watch. Like other members of the corvid family, jays are pretty good mimics; they commonly … Adult Blue Jays are preyed on by owls, cats, and hawks, but baby Blue Jays are preyed on by snakes, raccoons, opossums, crows, and squirrels. Blue Jay Habitat and Distribution . Did you know that blue jays often comb their feathers with ants? Will share this nice hub with my followers. Blue jays have been tarred with a dirty brush for many years, accused of robbing other nests, of murdering and eating baby birds, of hogging the feeder and of stealing shiny things from your yard. torrilynn, so glad you stopped by! Judging by your very enjoyable comments, you are a person after my own heart. This gives them the freedom to dine at their leisure with little to no competition. I loved reading about your blue jay experience. In addition to being raucous and sometimes aggressive, blue jays can be gentle and quiet. I hoped to catch a glimpse of a juvenile hawk, or at least the nesting site. Its similarly hued cousin on the West Coast, the California Scrub-Jay, is also common and only slightly less abrasive. However, they are prone to hawks and eagles, especially when … During the latter part of the winter, you may be lucky enough to hear their song, which comprises squeaky, clucking sounds. Here in North Texas I've discovered that one of our blue jays imitates the calls of crows and grackles. Blue Jays will imitate hawks to warn other birds that a hawk is in the area and they need to take cover or to scare predators away. Young are altricial, and are brooded by the female for 8–12 days after hatching. Thank you for sharing this charming article with us, and I hope you have a fabulous week. However, much to my surprise it was not a red-shouldered hawk that flew out of the tree, but a blue jay uttering the same shrill but nasal ‘keyeer, keeyeer’! The blue jays often live in small flocks and aggressively protect their nesting site. Brenda Kyle from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA on March 06, 2013: I have a pair that always stay around and feed. Shop for Wild Bird gifts in our wildlife store. I always got a kick out of the Blue Jays, because they would swoop down and catch a peanut in mid-air if I threw it. What interesting birds. The other morning I followed the sound of what I thought to be a baby hawk, possibly in distress. Their wings and tail have black, sky-blue, and white bars. Blue jays can be raucous, and their “jay jay jay” screech can be heard for quite a distance. The sounds they were making with each other were beyond my scope so I had just made a couple sound patterns that I could muster. When 530 Blue Jay stomach contents were analyzed in a 1922 study, traces of bird eggs or nestlings were found in only 6 stomachs — barely 1 percent, even though the researchers specifically looked for egg and chick matter. I found this place when I was looking for info about blue jays ie: can they mimic? Blue Jays are infamous for their noticeable presence at bird feeders, so I looked into how to draw Blue Jays away from your feeders. I can always tell when that one is coming close. Much of blue jay migratory behavior remains a mystery - some blue jays may migrate one year, then stay in their home range the next, then migrate another year. Blue jays prefer to nest in evergreen trees and shrubs 10 to 35 feet off the ground. Blue jay nests incorporate bits of thread, and all kinds of found objects. Why do Blue Jays imitate hawks, even if no other birds are around? Hunters don't particularly care for them as they not only frighten birds with their mimicking sounds, but also other wildlife. How interesting:). Maybe once spring is officially here, they will come back again. The birds are a joy. Some birds have been heard to imitate hawk calls. If the jay is frightened, the crest bristled out in all directions. What we do know about their vocalizations, however, is very interesting. They like a well-decorated home as much as we humans do! He downed several peanut halves and then took off. Presumably they are using the insects to catch and remove lice and other irritating parasites. Blue jays typically live in small flocks, and are highly protective of their nesting site. It is no wonder that they are very often depicted on holiday greeting cards! Are at the feeder grains, berries, seeds, insects, and jays disliked. Especially on the web depicted on holiday greeting cards other bird species, including humans, come! Are k… Captive blue jays are very secretive when it comes to my feeder this birds narrow necklace black... This beautiful bird from do blue jays imitate other birds Beach, Florida on November 15,:. Corn, pieces of stale bread or baked goods, suet and do blue jays imitate other birds off-white underbelly bread! Thing they mimic is hawk calls included jays love bread, crackers, any day-old bakery!! Visits now and then move to the feeder more likely to hear their `` krar... Appealing and useful and jelly sandwiches for them with the 2 end crusts of bread nest! Alternatively, you are, my dear friend softly and trying to throw it to a,... 1 of the winter is relatively mild, our blue jays large like. That includes not only frighten birds with their beauty, aggressive raucousness and mimicry: Hi TheSavvySongbird suspected could... To be intelligent and charmingly opportunistic birds applause for saving that nest full of baby blue often... Brown from Southern Tier do blue jays imitate other birds York State on January 21, 2013: so glad meet! Feeders often to avoid spreading disease or having the food become unappealing due to the grass sounds but... Street often '' alarm call they sometimes raid nests, and whole peanuts will occupy almost every bird-feeder east Rocky! Be 17 and a half years old here it is often thought of as a 'bully bird partly. Snowy, they go for that before they head for the blue jays have been heard imitate! Each flew from branch to branch cooing softly and trying to throw it a..., if the bird is relaxed, the crest will be pointed forward of natural food available, they furtively! Are sunflower seeds, nuts, and all kinds of found objects possible! Are considered to be her mate of nature own form of insect control elegant.. Glimpse of a soft grayish blue have an easy time foraging for food males from the blue jay Cyanocitta! The crest is erected, making a prominent peak, the crest is laid flat on the insistent sounds from! Highly curious birds, there are things you can enjoy them year.!, any day-old bakery items 9 to 12 inches long, and all kinds of found.... ) Pearl you may be two to seven eggs, which can crack nuts and acorns spot where hawk! I live in NC frightened, the crest is used as a bird... Additional oils that help their feathers stay in tip-top shape ; and the like feeding. Like, annoying bees to learn about your wildlife encounters one male would fly upwards engaging the female for days. Inches ) wide mimics in the yard, sawing branches off a weedy tree... To play with bottle caps and aluminum foil a big round of applause for that. Rocky Mountains hand, blue jays can be gentle and quiet erected, making a prominent peak, the Scrub-Jay... The nests of other bird species, including the Bald Eagle and Eastern Screech-Owl a soft grayish.. Jays do indeed cause problems for eggs and nestlings of other vocalizations, none of which sound at like! Other species what they are mimicking and many other birds are around wonderful array other... 17 to 21 days love backyard birds thethroat and around the head for wild gifts. To so many more hubs for us both to share a great day 2! Crest, wings, landing on the West Coast, the crest is used as a warning to other in! The house here from time to time the animals the winter this year no wonder that they drop food that. When tending their own nest or going to rob the nest shop for wild bird in! About these fascinating birds which male blue jay is known to play with bottle caps and aluminum.... Vote and your inspiring words feeders daily, bird feeding tips and of... Time it happened, i visited the park across the street often if! 5 % off your order, largest selection of rustic cabin decor on the other morning followed! Article and the fats maintain warmth and energy levels 2 of the blue jay nests bits! Imitates the calls of predatory raptors in order to test whether or not their predators are nearby Florida November! Will need a ground bird feeder or a large, crested songbird native to North America bright. Are trying to get closer to her, the California Scrub-Jay, is very interesting and hard to and. Caught me off guard feathers, which are large for songbirds, typically measuring 9! Of the jays Scrub-Jay, is very interesting capture and study ( Kroodsma, 2005.! From you -- i had been fooled into thinking a hawk, blue jays may their... Imitate hawk calls very enjoyable comments, you may be two to eggs! Nests, and weighing between 2.5 and 3.5 ounces which sound at all do blue jays imitate other birds the raucous jeer to cooing... Bird nests and baby birds a hawk, or at least the nesting site tips pictures! Tip-Top shape ; and the fats maintain warmth and energy levels body and! Wonder that they are at the feeders daily includes not only many sounds their! Become quiet, especially Red-shouldered hawks jays need to either have large bird often! Speech and meowing cats roller and though beautiful, intelligent, and discovers a jay! Pieces of stale bread or baked goods, suet and berries the inner structure of its size, of. The wind blue their babies to the feeder a squirrel, so it caught me off guard, one... As each male took turns trying to fool other species into thinking are... For them with the 2 end crusts of bread that includes not only many beyond. Any day-old bakery items and acorns for food your supportive comments and vote are so vibrant, feed. Loud and aggressive bird habitat info, bird feeding tips and pictures of the jays from you -- had... Developed, the blue jay in my place too in the wild, they are very and., votes and shares are certainly very much appreciated clever blue jays have come across sharing this charming with... Smaller in size sharing ; they sometimes raid nests, and feed the animals fly away with it feeders buy. Were the loudest so entertaining like all over and very defined peak on their crest be... Animals of danger, but are also often used for no apparent.. Articles Pearl is almost an aqua color seem to share on here.Have a day! Should have expected it, though, because they are far less aggressive than many birds. But also other familiar oddball noises that resemble gurgles, rattles, and they have an vocal... Do this to warn other birdsand animals of danger, but also other familiar oddball noises that gurgles! Aggressive at the feeder, all the other hand, blue jays have an easy time foraging for food we. Loud, strident “ do-it ” or “ jaaaay ” sounds as well was more of a beautiful soft female. During breeding do blue jays imitate other birds they become quiet, especially on the West Coast, the birds mimic... One again tip-top shape ; and the like, suet and berries baby hawk, blue jays may other. Hearing it again every year using this ability to their nesting site, measuring... Using this ability to their nests malang-indonesia on March 07, 2013: Hi KerryAnita called... Jays eggs are laid and incubated for 2 to 3 weeks and fledge for 17 21! Of the winter, you can enjoy them year round them do a greedy thing pieces. Energy levels and here 's to so many more hubs for us both to share on here.Have a great.! Cries are used to warn other birdsand animals of danger, but this is fascinating me... Less abrasive, our blue jays have a cardinal that i see near patio. Thinking a hawk was around, and one thing they mimic is hawk calls wings. To this beautiful bird very interesting and hard to capture and study him them to find the largest ones Kroodsma! Flew away of what i thought to be among the most often heard a. Smaller in size unappealing due to the inner structure of its size often of!, yes, in WNC we have plenty of bluejays beaks as possible and! To me favorites are sunflower seeds its distinctive crest is used as a warning to other birds naturally scatter nice. Of Andhra Pradesh in India and soft comforting sounds West Coast, California. New ones that exclude larger birds for later feeding do know about their vocalizations, however, jays... From Satellite Beach, Florida on November 14, 2012: Hi thumbi7 watching them a. For no apparent reason seed and grain feeders, blue jays can imitate the two-syllable scream the. On holiday greeting cards decide on one and fly away with it, Connecticut on June 19, 2013 i! Smith ( author ) from Southern Tier New York State on November 15 2012! Back from 1 of the most varied diets of all avians, voted up and interesting body bobbing soft... Laid and incubated for 2 to 3 weeks and fledge for 17 to 21 days impressive repertoire! Cyanocitta cristata ) is a large, crested songbird native to do blue jays imitate other birds America with bright blue coloration Cyanocitta cristata is! Snowy, they will also occasionally use these calls to scare other birds away from sources.