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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

17 Wing-tastic Facts About The Blue Jay For Kids

Blue jay facts for kids and baby blue jay facts are very interesting

Blue Jays are among the very common and well-known birds around us. These bird species belong to the crow family and are also called passerine birds. Blue Jays are capable of making a huge range of sounds through which they mostly communicate. These bird species have excellent mimicking skills by the help of which it imitates the sounds of Red-tailed and red-shouldered hawks, which are their common predators. They have beautiful blue feathered plumages on their crest and it makes it difficult to distinguish the males from females since they look almost identical in every aspect. Blue Jays prefer tall trees, especially oak trees. These birds feed on different seeds, acorns, fruits, nuts, and small vertebrates. The young birds get independent only after 17 to 21 days. Till then, the parents gather food and feed the young nestlings from time to time for roughly about 21 days. These birds are known to migrate in winters. However, the migratory pattern of these birds is quite haphazard.  These birds have complex social behavior which makes them quite intelligent, smart and extraordinary.

If you like our content on blue jays, you will surely like the articles on the common kingfisher and the frigate bird.

Blue Jay Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a blue jay?

Blue Jays are a kind of bird.

What class of animal does a blue jay ​belong to?

Blue Jays are a kind of bird that belongs to the class aves.

How many blue jays are there in the world?

Blue Jays currently have a very stable population. It has been estimated that around 13 million exists in the world today.

Where does a blue jay ​live?

Blue Jays normally live in forests. They are also seen on common neighborhood trees especially tall trees like Oak.

What is a blue jay's habitat?

These birds have a wide range of habitats. Blue Jays' habitat is in thick, deciduous forests of the Eastern United States and Southern Canada. During winter, some of these birds also visit the Canadian Pacific coast and parts of the Northern United States. They mostly prefer mixed woodlands and avoid dense forests.

Who do blue jays live with?

Blue jays live in small flocks and have a very close-knit family unit. These birds are more or less social in their behavior and are commonly found in pairs or family groups in residential areas where bird feeder feeds them in their backyards.

How long does a blue jay ​live?

Blue jays, Cyanocitta cristata, live for around seven years. In captivity, one female blue jay was known to live for 26 years.

How do they reproduce?

Blue jays are known to mate for life and the rest of the social mating behavior takes place throughout the year. They lay around two to seven eggs in the nest. These eggs are light blue or light brown in color. These eggs also have brown markings on them. The female sits on the eggs in the nest and the male gets all the food that is required during this time. After taking care of the newborn nestling and feeding it for eight-12 days the females take care of the babies in the nest while the males provide all the necessary food. After this period both males and females go looking for food but the males end up gathering more food for the family rather than just the female. Some of the baby blue jays start wandering only three days after its brooding. A lot of the times these baby blue jays, also called nestlings, cry but they aren't served food unless their parents return.  Sometimes it takes a month or two for the blue jays to become independent and depend on their parents partially or fully for the feeding. When they do, they usually make their own nest. The babies start out when they are just 17-21 days old. Sometimes they even decide to leave the nest before that if they need to find a place away from all the chaos.

What is their conservation status?

The population of blue jays has significantly decreased by about 28% between the years 1966 and 2001. The total number of these birds has a worldwide breeding population of about 13 million, among which 87% of them are residing in the United States and 13% in Canada. The most common cause of death is listed due to the attacks by cats and dogs. The conservation status of these birds is Least Concern.

Blue Jay Fun Facts

What do blue jays look like?

Blue jay bird facts about their habitat, behavior, nest and voice range are very informative.

Blue jays have a flock of blue feathers on their crest and on their wings, posterior portions, and tail. They usually have a greyish belly. Blue jay wings and tails have horizontal black, white, and sky-blue stripes. They have a black collar on their neck and the black color extends a bit to their face, feet, and legs. Nestlings are born blind and bald. Their mouths have a pink lining to them. The newborns don't have the magnificent blue color as it develops much later.

How cute are they?

Blue jays are extremely cute.  Their bright feathers and blue feathered plumage on the crest sets them apart from other birds. They also make cute little nests where one can find young baby jays waiting for their parents to return and feed them or you can spot adorable bluish and brownish eggs in the nest.

How do they communicate?

Blue jays communicate through a series of vocalizations. A blue jay call can be roughly sorted under four different umbrellas, based on tonal quality, function, harmonics, and frequency range of their calls.  Firstly, jeer calls used generally to bring together a group of blue jays, especially when they think there is a danger approaching them.  Jeers are generally harsh and loud in their tone and the range, frequency and sound quality of these calls vary from bird to bird. They also make pump handle calls which are high intensity, loud calls for a moderate level threat approaching them. Blue jays also make intra-pair contact calls where they make sounds of a lower frequency, originating from the gut. Normally they make these sounds when a pair of blue jays are building a nest or looking for food. When young blue jay babies,  also known as nestlings, cry out and beg for food, it is also a kind of intra-pair contact call. Blue jay female takes out another kind of sound called the rattle sound whose purpose is to alert their community when an outsider blue jay intrudes a couple's private space. The nature of the call is a series of clicking sounds in which it starts and ends with sharp clicks.  Blue jay nestlings that have only heard recorded calls will only be able to capture and mimic calls that are available in front of it and nothing new on their own. These North American birds are also known to mimic different predatory birds like red-shouldered hawks, owls, and their jeering, intra-pair contact sounds. Blue jays are also capable of learning new sounds and changing their old notes.

How big is a blue jay?

Blue Jays are  9–12 in (0.22–0.30 m) in length which is half or one-third of an average American Crow.

How fast can a blue jay ​fly?

A  moderate blue jay flying speed is roughly 20–25 mph (32–40 km/h) when unprovoked. A blue jay's wing size is 13-17 in (0.34-0.43 m).

How much does a blue jay ​weigh

A blue jay weighs around 0.15-o.24 lb (0.07-0.11 kg).  Female blue jays and male blue jays are almost identical in size.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names that have been allotted to male and female blue jays.

What would you call a baby blue jay?

A young blue jay is called a nestling or fledgling.

What do they eat?

Blue Jays, Cyanocitta cristata, normally eat grains, seeds like sunflower seeds, and insects. They are also known to eat small, injured, or dead vertebrates. Blue jays love acorns and other fruits and nuts like peanuts. On certain occasions, they have also been seen eating bird eggs and nestlings but is rather a rare phenomenon for them. A lot of bird feeders diligently feed these birds on a regular basis, especially in their backyards.

How high can they fly?

Blue jays can generally nest at a height of 35 feet above ground level. However, it has not been studied how high they could fly.

Would they make a good pet?

If you would want to keep this bird species as a pet in the United States, it is considered illegal since they are also migratory birds. If you own a license as a rehabber and there are legal documents that allow you to keep them as a pet, then you can keep this bird as a pet briefly. Even then it is best advised to release these North American birds in the wild. Young blue jays only make good pets until they grow as an adult. After that, they would require a change of place. If not released, they are most likely going to die. These blue and white feather birds are best kept if they are wounded and need help to survive in the wild. But after that, they need to be released so that they can form new territories. They are not meant for being indoor pets and might die within a few days. But if you are one of those with bird feeders, you will surely get occasional visits from these birds especially if there are acorns and seeds nearby.

Did you know...

Blue jays are migratory birds and thousands of them fly in flocks along the Atlantic coasts and Great Lakes, but the reason behind their migration is still unknown. Some of these birds are present throughout winter across all regions. It is seen that the younger generation of blue jays tends to migrate more than the older ones. In some cases, it is seen that adults also take part in migration. Some of the blue jays are present the entire winter season in every range. Some of them migrate towards the north in one winter and decide to stay in the south in the next winter. Hence the reason behind their migration is very haphazard and confusing.

Blue jays take a liking to hopper feeders, placed on a post instead of hanging feeders. They like to eat different kinds of nuts and seeds like sunflower seeds or peanuts. They also love eating acorns that grow on oak trees. Occasionally, blue jays like taking baths and drinking water from the birdbaths.

The special thing about the blue color of blue jays is that the color comes because of the internal structure of their feathers. If the feather is crushed, the blue color fades.

What does a blue jay sound like?

Blue jays are wonderful vocalists, and they are capable of making a variety of blue jay sounds and also songs! These beautiful, aesthetically pleasing birds are predominantly seen in backyards and woodlands. You can very easily spot when a blue jay is round the corner by following their unique vocalizations and sounds! The most commonly recognized blue jay sound is a bold and loud vocalization that is mostly widely called a 'jeer'or 'jaay'.  Blue Jays are often seen whistling, tweeting. They also make a very uncommon and peculiar gurgling sound. Blue jays are often seen mimicking the sounds made by  Red-tailed hawks and Red-shouldered hawks.  Not only do they make simple calls but they also sing elaborate songs that include a variety of vocalizations that consists of whining, clicking sounds, and many soft notes in between.  Their distinctive song will make you aware of their presence. Even though their vibrant feathers make it easier to spot them on treetops but they are mostly seen tweeting on oak treetops as they are known to be Blue Jay's favorite tree of all.

What does it mean when you see a blue jay?

In Christian culture, there are quite a few Blue Jay symbolisms available. It is believed that seeing blue jays in your backyard is a good sign and it means many good things are coming your way. Seeing a blue jay also means that it is an indication for you not to give up no matter hard the current situation is.  If you see a blue jay in your dreams or have recurring dreams about it, it means that there are certain things you need to be upfront about and speak up about. Seeing a blue jay feather will bring immense light and joy in our lives in the future and it will brighten up our lives. Blue jay's spiritual meaning denotes that people have immense patience, they are hard-working and extremely loyal individuals.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including the secretary bird and the blue and yellow macaw.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our blue jay coloring pages.

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