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Monday, January 14, 2019

Blue Jay, Jerks of the Bird World

     I threw some stale bread out the other day for the birds and a flock of about 20 or so rushed in along with a squirrel (which I didn't know ate bread).  Suddenly the birds scattered and that's when I noticed a blue jay lurking in a nearby tree. The squirrel ignored the blue jay; that is until the blue jay attacked. 
     Blue jays are beautiful birds, but don't let that fool you! They're jerks. They dive bomb other birds and small animals and steal food and they even eat other birds' babies. They've also been known to attack humans. 
     Blue jays are found east of the Rocky Mountains throughout North America and have commonly been spotted living near cities. They are related to crows and ravens and other birds who have amazing intelligence and abilities. 
     Blue jays can mimic the cries of hawks, use tools, and work together in groups. They are social birds and will form groups to create more power and opportunity through their numbers. 
     They are considered to be vegetarian and enjoy peanuts, all kinds of seeds, and berries. In summer months, they will eat insects such as grasshoppers and caterpillars and, as mentioned, other birds' babies and eggs. It's rumored that they also will eat mice. 
     They're very intelligent and resourceful birds and have been observed using objects as tools. Some researchers have observed birds in the lab ripping up newspaper that lined the bottom of their cage, which they then used like a broom to collect out of reach food pellets. When given other objects such as feathers, twist ties, and paper clips, they used them for the same purpose. 
     In addition to using their crest to communicate, blue jays are extremely loud and vocal and have the ability to mimic other sounds. They have been known to imitate the sound of a hawk in order to scare smaller birds away from bird feeders so as to steal food. Some captive blue jays have even been known to mimic a cat's meow or several human speech sounds. 
     Blue jays have something called a gular pouch inside their throat, which they use to carry food around which is why they can be seen stuffing their face like a squirrel. What they don't eat immediately they will store, usually in the ground, for later consumption. 
     Blue jays usually migrate to escape the winter cold, but for reasons not completely known some stay behind. They tend form groups to create more opportunities to locate food as well as protect each other from predators. 
     Within the group blue jays will establish a social hierarchy in order to obtain food and eat without fighting over who gets to go first. Not friendly birds at all.
     They adapt easily to new situations and are very curious and inquisitive, crafty and aggressive. Aggressive enough that they have been observed taking on hawks and the hawks lost.

Five Weird Facts About Blue Jays 

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