Blue Jays are very commonly found in central and eastern USA, as well as, Canada. They are stunning birds but, due to the fact that they are numerous, often these birds are not fully appreciated. Humans seem to treasure rarity above beauty.
These birds stay where they have grown up and brave winter. Their breathtaking blue colors are a delight to behold against a winter white background. I was aware that Indigo Buntings (another, more rare, blue-colored bird) gained their blue color from a deflecting of light. The feathers do not have a blue pigment. According to Wikipedia, Blue Jay feathers have the same properties.
“As with most other blue-hued birds, the Blue Jay’s coloration is not derived from pigments but is the result of light interference due to the internal structure of the feathers; if a blue feather is crushed, the blue disappears as the structure is destroyed. This is referred to as structural coloration.”
Blue Jay males, and females, share the same bright coloration. They build open topped nests in tree limbs and have 2-7 eggs in each clutch. These birds love seeds and nuts and frequent bird feeders.
When Mother Nature made these birds so beautiful in appearance, she must have felt as though she had done enough. Their voices lack beauty and their loud raspy cries are borderline annoying. When you add a brash, bold attitude, there are more than a few people who don’t like these beauties.
One group who does appreciate Blue Jays are hunters. Not only are Blue Jays bossy, they are nosey. Often these birds announce the presence of intruders with their incessant reports. This can alert animals and hunters to danger or big game in the area.
As the most recognizable local bird by sound and sight, Blue Jays are the first on my list when introducing birds to kids.
Blue Jays are a BIG favorite of mine!
2 thoughts on “NATURE KNOWLEDGE: Blue Jay”
You’re a wealth of information. Being the bird lover that I am I never knew about the feathers. Now, I want to crush one. However I do know how annoying their voices can be…..:)
I was surprised that all the blues were optical illusions! I learn something everyday. I’ll keep reporting what I find out too. 🙂