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Blue Jay

Cyanocitta cristata
Conservation Status: 
Least Concern
North America
Forests and suburban areas
With its vibrant blue plumage, white underparts, and distinct crest on its head, the Blue Jay is easily recognizable. Something that may be surprising, though, is that they do not have any blue pigment in their feathers! Instead, they have small air bubbles that are just the right shape to amplify certain colours of light. This is called structural colour.
Blue Jays have a diverse diet, consisting of both plant and animal materials. They feed on a wide range of items, including seeds, fruits, insects, eggs, and even small animals. Their omnivorous nature allows them to adapt to different food sources throughout the year. Blue Jays are social birds and are often seen in small groups or pairs. They are territorial and will defend their nesting area and food sources.
This species is in the same group (Corvidae) as crows and ravens. Known for their intelligence and vocal abilities, Blue Jays are skilled mimics and can imitate a variety of sounds, including the calls of other bird species. Their loud and distinctive calls are often heard echoing through the forests, as they communicate with each other or alert other animals to potential threats.
Nests are typically built by the female, who constructs them using twigs, grass, and other plant materials. The nest is usually placed in the branches of a tree or shrub, providing a secure location for the eggs. Blue Jays lay an average of 4 to 6 eggs, which are incubated by the female for about 17 to 18 days. Once hatched, the young birds are cared for by both parents and will leave the nest after about 17 to 21 days.
Why are Blue Jays at Bird Kingdom?
A person in Quebec hand-raised these birds until they were one year old. The Blue Jays were later brought to a rehabilitation centre. Because they are unable to live in their natural range or find food, they faced euthanasia, but were then brought to Bird Kingdom.
The chain of events that led to these Blue Jays having a good home with professional care is a rare positive outcome for hand-raised wild birds. It is never a good idea to hand-feed a wild animal, and it is illegal to capture protected wildlife.
If you ever see an animal in distress, call your local Humane Society.