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The Blue Jay is a white-faced bird with a distinctive blue crest, back, wings and tail. A collar of black is often found around the throat and head, and bills, legs, feet and eyes are also black. The Blue Jay has a very heavy bill which is used to peck open a variety of nuts, acorns and cocoons.
Blue Jays are able to mimic the sound of hawks as either a defensive mechanism to keep away predators or to warn fellow Blue Jays of a nearby hawk danger.
This common, large songbird is familiar to many people, with its perky crest; blue, white, and black plumage; and noisy calls. Blue Jays are known for their intelligence and complex social systems with tight family bonds.
Their fondness for acorns is credited with helping spread oak trees after the last glacial period.The blue jay is a passerine bird in the family Corvidae, native to eastern North America. It lives in most of the eastern and central United States; eastern populations may be migratory.
The length of the Blue Jay ranges from twenty-two to thirty centimeters. Its mass from about sixty-five to about one hundred and ten grams.
Resident populations are also found in Newfoundland, Canada; breeding populations are found across southern Canada.The blue jay occupies a variety of habitats within its large range.
It is less abundant in denser forests, preferring mixed woodlands with oaks and beeches.Blue jays live in deciduous, coniferous, and mixed forests throughout the eastern and central areas of the United States, and southern Canada. They also can be found in parks and suburban residential areas, and are frequent guests of backyard bird feeders.
Blue jays are sometimes known to eat eggs or nestlings, and it is this practice that has tarnished their reputation. Many a blue jay has been spotted attacking other birds, stealing their food, and sometimes eating their victim's babies.
Blue jays can also be extremely territorial over both their food and nesting areas, and are not afraid to attack other birds. Naturally, they are largely vegetarian birds. Most of their diet is composed of acorns, nuts, and seeds,but they also eat small creatures such as caterpillars, grasshoppers, and beetles.
Blue jays typically form monogamous pair bonds for life. Both sexes build the nest and rear the young, though only the female broods them. The male feeds the female while she is brooding the eggs.
There are usually between three and six eggs laid and incubated over sixteen and eighteen days.As males have no external blue jay penis, the male mounts the female from behind and rubs his cloaca against the female's, passing sperm into her. In a few weeks, the female blue jay will lay three to five eggs.
Blue jays do very well in the presence of humans, and the patchwork of yards (some stocked with bird feeders), fields, and woodlands found in rural areas makes for fantastic habitat. The oldest blue jay studied by researchers in the wild lived to be about seventeen years and six months old, most blue jays live to about seven years old. One captive female lived for about twenty-six years and three months.
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