Blue jay Facts

Blue jay Facts
Blue jay is a songbird that belongs to the family of crows. It can be found in Central and Eastern parts of North America and South Canada. Blue jay inhabits deciduous, coniferous and mixed forests and lives close to human settlements. Major threats for the survival of blue jays in the wild are collision with man-made structures, diseases (such as West Nile Virus) and predation (domestic cats). Despite these factors, population of blue jays in the wild is large and stable.
Interesting Blue jay Facts:
Blue jay can reach 9 to 12 inches in length and 2.5 to 3.5 ounces of weight. Males are slightly larger than females.
Blue jay is mostly blue-colored. Face, throat and belly are white. Wings and tail are covered with white, black and blue plumage. Blue feathers actually contain brown pigment, but they are equipped with special cells that are able to distort light and create impression of blue color.
Blue jay has crest on top of the head. Erect crest is a sign of aggression, while brush-like crest symbolizes fear. Flattened crest can be seen in relaxed birds.
Blue jay has a wingspan of 13 to 17 inches and it flies at speed of 20 to 25 miles per hour.
Blue jay is diurnal bird (active during the day).
Blue jay is an omnivore. It eats seed, nuts, acorns, fruit, insects, eggs and young birds.
Blue jays are very intelligent birds. Captive birds use rolled paper to reach food located outside the cage. Wild birds are waiting for people to leave the fields before they dig out seed from the ground.
Blue jays live in pairs or small family groups. They gather in large flocks during the migratory season.
Blue jays communicate via loud screams and high-pitched calls. They are able to imitate sound of hawks, cats and humans.
Blue jay produces hawk-like sounds to check if there are any hawks in the area and to distract other birds from the food source.
Hawks, owls and cats prey on adult blue jays, while snakes, raccoons, squirrels, opossums and crows attack young birds and eggs.
Mating season takes place from mid-March to July. One pair mates for a lifetime.
Male collects building material (twigs, bark, roots and moss) while female builds cup-shaped nest in the trees. 2 to 7 bluish or brown eggs hatch after incubation period of 16 to 18 days.
Hatchlings are naked, blind and helpless at birth. Father provides food for the mother while she takes care of the chicks. Young birds are ready to leave their nest at the age of 17 to 21 days, but they stay with their parents for at least one or two months. Blue jay reaches sexual maturity at the age of one year.
Blue jay can survive around 7 years in the wild and up to 26 years in the captivity.

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