A Blue Jay at rest (49)
|Blue Jay |
Blue Jays are one of our most easily recognized birds. They are bright blue with black and white markings. They grow to about 12 inches long. Blue Jays have a crest (pointy feathers on their head).
Blue Jays can be seen in forests, parks, and yards. Basically, you see them anywhere there are oak trees, since acorns are their favorite food.
Blue Jays migrate for the Winter, but we see them year-round in Virginia. Even though our Summer Blue Jays fly south, new ones from the North come in. The opposite is true in the Spring.
Blue Jays build a nest in a tree out of sticks, grass, lichens, moss, rootlets, and paper. They seem to prefer nesting in pine trees. Females lay four to six greenish eggs with brown spots.
The male Blue Jay feeds the female while she sits on the eggs. When young Blue Jays hatch, both parents feed them.
Blue Jays fledge (leave the nest) after about three weeks.
Blue Jays are omnivorous, which means they eat plants and animals. Their favorite food is acorns from oak trees, but some other things they eat are fruit, nuts, seeds, insects, mice, frogs, small birds, eggs, beechnuts, and caterpillars.
To eat a nut, a Blue Jay holds it with its feet while it cracks it open with its bill.
Blue Jays do not like to share. They will chase other birds away from food sources, and they will carry food off and hide it. Many times they do not find their food again later, and this helps new plants grow from the nuts and seeds they lost