Blue Jay: Medium, noisy jay with bright blue upperparts, pale gray underparts, distinct head crest, and neck surrounded with a curious black necklace. Black-barred wings and tail have prominent white patches. Direct flight with steady and bouyant wing beats. Glides between perches or to the ground.
Range and Habitat
Blue Jay: Resident east of the Rockies, from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, but slowly encroaching westward. Preferred habitats include evergreen forests, farmlands, groves, and suburbs.
Captive jays have been observed using tools and strips of newspaper to rake in food pellets from outside their cages.
The Blue Jay's coloration is not derived by pigments, but is the result of light refraction due to the internal structure of the feathers; if a Blue Jay feather is crushed, the blue disappears as the structure is destroyed.
They will sometimes prey on eggs and nestlings of other birds’ nests.
A group of jays has many collective nouns, including a "band", "cast", "party", and "scold" of jays.
The Blue Jay has a very large range, extending to around 6,700,000 square kilometers. It prefers a boreal temperate, subtropical, tropical forest ecosystem and is native to North America, Saint Pierre, and Miquelon. The global population of the Blue Jay is estimated to be 22,000,000 birds and evidence indicates that the population is on the rise, meaning that the bird does not meet the criteria for the IUCN Red List. It currently has an evaluation level of Least Concern.