Thursday Thirteen: Blue jays



Here are thirteen bits of information I’ve discovered about Blue Jays (Cyanocitta cristata):

  1. They form long-lasting, monogamous relationships, usually lasting until one of them dies.
  2. The longest life-span recorded for blue jays is: 17 years in the wild and 26 years as a captive.
  3. These birds are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act:
    Jay, Blue, Cyanocitta cristata
    Brown, Cyanocorax morio
    Gray, Perisoreus canadensis
    Gray-Breasted (see Jay, Mexican)
    Green, Cyanocorax yncas
    Mexican (=Gray-breasted), Aphelocoma ultramarina
    Pinyon, Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus
    Scrub (see Scrub-Jay, Florida; Scrub-Jay, Island; and Scrub-Jay,
    Steller’s, Cyanocitta stelleri
  4. They have a crest of feathers on the top of their heads that reveal their moods when they change positions — a little like a dog or cat’s tail!
  5. Jays are Passerines (perching) and belong to the Crow family (Corvidae.)
  6. When moulting, they are often seen “anting“; literally applying ants or ant by-products to their feathers during preening.
  7. Most Jays hop instead of walk.
  8. The blue you see in a jay’s feathers is the result of light refraction, and not the actual color of the feather. If you crush the feather, there is no blue to see.
  9. Jays have been know to steal nests that Robins have made.
  10. Jays have long been represented as nest robbers, or egg thieves, preying upon other nesting species for food. Apparently this has been shown to be an occurrence which seldom happens, and is not a fair representation of blue jays overall.
  11. Jays usually eat insects, seeds and fruit, so are considered omnivores.
  12. Jays are frequent and entertaining visitors at bird feeders.
  13. Crows and blue jays are the birds most likely to be affected by West Nile Virus, this is why it is important to report deaths of these birds to your local health authority.

~ by byrningbunny on June 20, 2008.

5 Responses to “Thursday Thirteen: Blue jays”

  1. It is so cool here under the trees that I hate to step out into the sunshine, but your beautiful sky is tempting me. I chose a solar halo for my contribution. I invite you to come see. — Margy

  2. Thank you for being a part of Sky Watch this week, your post and comments are much appreciated.
    Tom ;O)

    This looks my kind of place… BEAUTIFUL.

  3. Very cute photo! It is also nicely framed. Well done.

    Alex’s World! –

  4. Very interesting. I did not know about #13. Hope you are having a great weekend!

  5. I have a pair of bluejays in my yard and that reminds me…I have GOT to go RIGHT NOW and get bird food!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s