A common bird, denigrated for its habit of robbing nests of eggs and nestlings, the blue jay often gets overlooked or disdained.
But when West Nile Virus struck — blue jays were dying — and I started to pay more attention to these birds, because they are absolutely stunning especially in winter when all around is gray and dismal.
Look at the gorgeous blue crest and the contrasting black outline starting from the crest and going around the neck. Do you see the little bit of blue on the black bill? Notice the different blue colors in the wings set off by white wing bars.
We scatter corn on the ground and hang peanut feeders, which attract blue jays and give us close looks — we watch as a jay grabs a peanut, stores it in its gullet, then flies away to hide it for later retrieval.
Blue jays are members of the corvid family — the most intelligent of avian families. They make movements in winter based on acorn crops — the larger an acorn crop, the greater the chance blue jays will remain in winter.
Many species of jays exist throughout the world, and are equally as gorgeous — One of them is the Western scrub jay. (See below). I am glad for the presence of jays.