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July Bird of the Month: Blue Jay

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Blue Jay on Fence Post

The Blue Jay’s blue, white, and black color pattern makes them one of the brightest and most recognizable species of bird in our area. Male and female Blue Jays have the same color pattern, which is called sexual monomorphism and can be rare amongst bird species. They are also one of the loudest birds and most talkative birds, regularly announcing their presence when they land in a tree or squawking at people or animals walking around in their respective territory.

They have a variety of vocalizations, including one that mimics one of their primary predators, the Red Shouldered Hawk. Blue Jays are larger than most songbirds, but smaller than crows. With the size discrepancies, Blue Jays can often rule the roost at the bird feeders as they bully other birds out. They are regular feeder visitors but prefer post feeders or other platform feeders.

Blue Jays are well known for their caching behavior, which is when a bird will collect seeds and hide them throughout their territory for later retrieval. Blue Jays typically travel in small groups, which grow and shrink in size throughout the year relative to breeding season. Breeding season for Blue Jays is between May and June. Females will typically have 3-6 eggs and both males and females will incubate. Contrary to other times, Blue Jays will remain very quiet on the nest to not indicate to any predators where they’re located.  

 

 

 





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