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The Blue Jay

A portrait of a Blue Jay	(Cyanocitta cristata)
Blue Jay Portrait

The Blue Jay

(Cyanocitta cristata)


You don’t need to be an expert to identify these colorful, loud, intelligent birds. Blue Jays (Cyanocitta cristata) are one of the most recognizable birds in North America! Mostly because few birds evoke such vivid-and-striking appearance as Blue jays. Here’s another interesting fact. Can you name how many states have the Blue Jay as the State bird? Zero! Not a one! They frequently mimic the calls of hawks, especially the Red-shouldered hawks and Red-tailed hawks. These calls may provide information to other jays that a hawk is around or may be used to deceive other species into believing a hawk is present. Blue Jays communicate with one another both vocally and with body language, using their crest. When incubating, feeding nestlings, or associating with their mate, family, or flock mates, the crest is held down; the lower the crest, the lower the bird’s aggression level. The higher the crest, the higher the bird’s aggression level; when a Blue Jay squawks, the crest is virtually always held up. Blue Jays have a wide variety of vocalizations, with an immense vocabulary.

A Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) perched among flowers
Springtime Blue Jay


Blue Jays are large crested songbirds with broad, rounded tails. They are smaller than crows but larger than robins. They are white or light gray underneath, with various shades of blue, black, and white above. Did you know that Blue Jays aren’t actually blue? In fact, the pigment in their feathers is brown. Scattering light in the structural parts of the feathers causes us to see the blue coloration.


Blue Jays prefer peanuts (I suggest, whole roasted and unsalted), Any kind of sunflower, acorns, and suet. You can also offer them cracked corn or whole kernels. The other foods that can attract Blue Jays are mealworms and a variety of small fruits and berries.

As always, make sure that you provide fresh clean water.


Blue Jays need large platform feeders and large hopper feeders.

Now that you know how to attract blue jays, you can attract plenty of blue jays throughout the year. Always make sure to offer them fresh seeds and nuts. Keep your yard feeders clean because blue jays may not come to your dirty feeders.

I hope you’ve learned a lot about attracting blue jays to your yard. If you have any experience in attracting these beautiful wild birds, you can share it with everyone by leaving a comment below. Please share this blog post with your friends and family who have a love for backyard birding.


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