Bird Sounds: Blue Jay

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U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Blue Jay Calls

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The Blue Jay, with its striking plumage and bold personality, is a familiar sight and sound in backyards across North America. This intelligent songbird, adorned in a vibrant coat of cobalt blue, accented by a crisp white chest, black collar, and bold crest, is a captivating addition to any natural landscape.

Recognizing the Blue Jay: A Feathered Showstopper

  • Size and Shape: Measuring around 11-12 inches, the Blue Jay is a medium-sized songbird with a strong, sturdy build.
  • Coloration: The plumage is a breathtaking combination of bright blue on the back, wings, and crest, contrasting with a stark white chest and underparts. The head features a black collar and a distinctive blue crest that can be raised or lowered depending on mood.
  • Unique Traits: Listen for their loud, varied calls, often described as a harsh “jay!” or a mimicking whistle.

Beyond the Beauty: The Life of a Blue Jay

Confident Characters: Blue Jays are known for their bold personalities and intelligence. They are often seen perched prominently on branches, surveying their territory with a watchful eye.

Omnivorous Appetites: These adaptable birds have a diverse diet that includes acorns, nuts, seeds, fruits, insects, and even small vertebrates like lizards and nestling birds. Their sharp beak and strong feet make them efficient foragers.

 Acrobatic Performers: Blue Jays are agile flyers and can maneuver through trees with impressive dexterity. They are also known for their playful antics, often engaging in aerial acrobatics and chases.

Where to Find These Feathered Friends

Blue Jays are widespread across North America, inhabiting deciduous forests, woodlands, parks, and even backyards. They are particularly common in areas with access to a variety of food sources, such as oak trees and bird feeders.

Attracting Blue Jays to Your Backyard:

  • Offer a variety of food sources: Place bird feeders filled with black oil sunflower seeds, peanuts, and suet cakes. Scatter nuts and acorns on the ground.
  •  Provide nesting sites: Plant tall trees with sturdy branches where they can build their nests.
  • Create a water source: Add a birdbath to your yard to provide them with fresh water for drinking and bathing.

By creating a welcoming habitat, you can increase your chances of attracting these intelligent and entertaining birds to your backyard and witness their fascinating behaviors firsthand.

The Blue Jay is a captivating addition to the North American avifauna, captivating us with its stunning appearance, bold personality, and diverse vocalizations. By learning more about these remarkable birds, we can appreciate their vital role in the ecosystem and ensure their continued presence for generations to come.

Here, you can identify the sounds and bird song of the Blue Jay. Compliments of The Macaulay Library at The Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Click here to listen to the sounds of other birds!

Have you heard a Blue Jay? Add your comments below. Be sure to let us know where you live or where you’ve heard this bird sound before!

About The Author

Heidi Stonehill

Heidi Stonehill is the executive editor for The Old Farmer’s Almanac, where she focuses much of her time on managing content development for the Almanac’s line of calendars. Read More from Heidi Stonehill

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