Beautifully colored and with a strident call, blue jays are common in backyards and forests of much of North America. This common, large songbird is familiar to a lot of people, with its lovely perky crest; blue, white, and black plumage; and noisy calls. Blue Jays are well-known for their intelligence and complex social systems with tight family bonds. Their keenness for acorns is credited with assisting spread oak trees after the last glacial period. Generally blue jays are natural forest dwellers, but they’re also highly adaptable and intelligent birds.
They’re acquainted and noisy presence around many North American bird feeders. The blue jay's "Jay! Jay!" call is only one of a wide variety of sounds the bird employs including outstanding imitations of several hawk calls. Therefore the oldest known wild, banded Blue Jay lived to be at least 17 years 6 months old. Blue Jays usually communicate with one another both vocally and with “body language,” using their crest.
Blue jays are sometimes famous to eat eggs or nestlings, and it is this practice that has discolored their reputation. However they’re largely vegetarian birds. Their diet mainly consists of acorns, nuts, grains, and seeds though they also eat small creatures such as caterpillars, grasshoppers, and beetles. Blue jays sometimes store acorns in the ground and may fail to retrieve them, thus aiding the spread of forests. Blue Jay is common in much of eastern and central North America; blue jays are slowly extending their range to the Northwest. They’re fairly social and are usually found in pairs or in family groups or small flocks.
Most northern birds head south for the winter and join in large flocks of up to 250 birds to make the long journey. However, this migration is a bit of a mystery to scientists. Some bird’s winter in all parts of the blue jay's range and some individual birds may migrate one year and not the next. It is imprecise what factors determine whether each blue jay or family decides to migrate. Blue Jays lower their crests when they’re feeding quietly with family and flock members or tending to nestlings. The higher the crest, the higher the bird’s aggression level and when a Blue Jay squawks, the crest is nearly always held up.