Creature Feature

Creature Feature – Blue Jay

Posted by  //  October 23, 2018  //  Articles, Creature Feature

While most everyone recognizes the Blue Jay with its sky blue feathers, black “necklace” and jaunty head crest, here are some fun facts you may not know about this feisty bird.

  • They’re not actually blue!  Due to the structure of their feathers, light is distorted, making them appear blue.  They’re really brown!

  • Blue Jays produce many calls and will mimic the screech of a red-tailed hawk, perhaps to scare away other birds from a food source.  They also communicate through body language, like raising and lowering their crest.

  • They are curious and intelligent, form close family bonds and often mate for life.

  • Some individuals choose to migrate, but many remain year-round.

  • Blue Jays have a throat pouch they fill with favorite foods, like acorns, to cache and eat later.  Acorns are often buried, and jays are credited with the spread of oak trees.

  • They sometimes wipe ants across their feathers; this is known as “anting.”  It’s believed they do this to make the ants secrete noxious spray, after which they are fit to eat.

  • Attract Blue Jays to your yard by providing tray feeders filled with peanuts and sunflower seeds, as well as offering suet.  Planting a new tree or two? Consider oaks!

  • The oldest known wild Blue Jay lived to be around 17-1/2 years old.

Article & Photo by Margie Manthey

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