Monday, July 8, 2013

Number five: The Blue Jay

Common in eastern and central states, Blue Jays are extending their range to the Northwest. The proportion of jays that migrate may be less than 20 percent.

They lower their head crests when hanging out with their flock or tending to the nestlings.

When approaching birdfeeders, jays frequently mimic hawk calls. This may either warn other jays of a hawk's presence or clear the feeder of other species, who are deceived into believing that a hawk is approaching.

In the wild, jays consume acorns, nuts, seeds, eggs, nestlings, dead or dying adult birds and small vertebrates.

Independent nestlings are often found up to 15 feet from the nest and are mistakenly thought to be abandoned. If restored to or near the nest, the parents will resume feeding the nestling. The entire brood leaves the nest together at approximately three weeks old but will continue to be fed by the parents for up to two months.