About The Blue Jay
Blue Jays are one of the most common birds to visit man-made feeders. With its distinctive bold blue pattern, it would be difficult not to recognize a Blue Jay. On the average, the Blue Jay measures in at 25-30 cm (10-12 in), with a wingspan of 34-43 cm (13-17 in) and a weight of 70-100 grams.
Considered to be a large songbird, the Blue Jay has a distinctive crest and is mostly blue all over. Its feathers are of different shades of blue. Its underparts are a bit gray-white, though, the same as its face. The Blue Jay has some black markings in the eyes and the side of its head which connects to its collar. Its wings and tail also have some black and white markings.
There is no marked difference in appearance between the male and female. The immature Blue Jay is very similar to the adults except that its coloring is more gray than blue and more brown than black.
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The Blue Jay Nesting Preferences
Blue Jays prefer to live at the edge of mixed forests. They usually build their nest on a tree branch or on the fork of a deciduous or coniferous tree. Both male and female Blue Jays work to build the nest.
A Blue Jay’s nest is usually made up of twigs, grass, bark, moss, and other plant material. It is not unusual for mud to be used as a bonding material as well. For the lining, the Blue Jay uses rootlets and other softer materials.
The nest is shaped like an open cup. It is placed anywhere from 5 to 50 feet above the ground. However, the more common height placements are somewhere in between.
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Building a Birdhouse For The Blue Jay
Blue Jays are very easy to attract to your yard. Though they can be raucous and obnoxious, they are still very pleasant to watch. You can build an open nesting platform which Blue Jays are sure to frequent. The floor area should be 8” x 8”. A good distance from the floor to the ceiling would be 8”. You can build a sloping ceiling with partially open sides and an open front. When mounting this nesting platform, try to stay away from areas which are prone to predators. Also choose an area which has adequate shade.
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The Blue Jay Mating Habits
Blue Jays mate from March to July. Male and female Blue Jays which have paired off usually stay together throughout the whole year. Blue Jays are monogamous and usually stay a pair until one dies.
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The Blue Jay Feeding Preferences
Blue Jays are omnivores – that is, they eat both meat and plants. For the most part, they feed on nuts and seeds. They also eat small frogs, invertebrates, and carrion. They have even been known to eat eggs of other birds as well as nestlings!
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Interesting Blue Jay Facts
- Contrary to popular belief, only 1% of Blue Jays have been proven to eat baby birds and bird eggs. This should dispel the negative publicity the Blue Jay has!
- The Blue Jay is part of the Crow family.
- The Blue Jay has its own call but it can copy the call of a hawk.