Blue Jay

This common, large songbird is familiar to many people, with its perky crest; blue, white, and black plumage; and noisy calls. Blue Jays are known for their intelligence and complex social systems with tight family bonds. Their fondness for acorns is credited with helping spread oak trees after the last glacial period.

Keys to identification

Typical Voice

:http://backyardnaturalist.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/bluejay.mp3|titles=bluejay

  • Size & Shape

    Large crested songbird with broad, rounded tail. Blue Jays are smaller than crows, larger than robins.

  • Color Pattern

    White or light gray underneath, various shades of blue, black, and white above.

  • Behavior

    Blue Jays make a large variety of calls that carry long distances. Most calls produced while the jay is perched within a tree. Usually flies across open areas silently, especially during migration. Stuffs food items in throat pouch to cache elsewhere; when eating, holds a seed or nut in feet and pecks it open.

  • Habitat

    Blue Jays are birds of forest edges. A favorite food is acorns, and they are often found near oaks, in forests, woodlots, towns, cities, parks.