#61 Blue Jay

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)

29 April

The big blue bully of gardens and woodlands famous 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. If you are feeding birds then Blue Jays prefer tray feeders or hopper feeders on a post rather than hanging feeders, and they like peanuts, sunflower seeds, and suet.

Confusingly they frequently mimic the calls of hawks, especially the Red-shouldered Hawk.

There is no such thing as a “blue” bird and your eyes deceive you when looking at this fellow. The pigment in Blue Jay feathers is melanin, which is brown. The blue color is caused by scattering light through modified cells on the surface of the feather barbs.

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