Birds in the Winter - Blue Jay
The Blue Jay, one of the most easily identifiable song birds, living from the east coast to Nebraska and south. As a regular at backyard feeders, look for a flashy blue crest and a loud call, it's hard to mistake this bird for any other.
While these birds are quite common, there is still so much we don't know about them. Such as their migratory patterns, thousands of Blue Jays migrate in flocks along the Great Lakes & Atlantic coasts, yet some remain present throughout winter in all parts of their range. Some jays migrate south one year, stay north the next winter, then south again, where as others won't. No one has figured out why this happens.
Jays will also use their abilities as mimics to make the call of a hawk that will send the other birds at a feeder flying allowing the jay to feed in peace (for a few minutes).
When calm, blue jays will lower their crests, especially when with family, flock members, or tending to nestlings.
When we see Blue Jays, we see them as blue, however the actual pigment in the jay's feathers is melanin which is brown. We perceive the blue color due to the scattering light through modified cells on the surface of the feather barbs!
Blue Jays make use of the black bridle across the face, nape, and throat to identify each other as this tends to vary extensively from bird to bird.
These birds have been credited to re-populating oak trees across the country after the last glacial period as acorns are a top food source for this bird.
In Native American myths, the blue jay is said to have had a beautiful voice, so beautiful it became overly proud of it. To punish the bird, the gods changed the song to the harsh croak that we know today.
The jay's strong family bond reminds us to take a look at our own family/community situation, are you paying enough attention , do you need to work on closer relationships?
The familiar talkativeness of the blue jay, combined with its blue feathers (the color associated with the throat chakra) may be urging you to take a closer look at your own communication skills. Are you speaking your truth or just making noise with no real purpose?
Follow higher ideals and nourish your spirituality.
Since 2015 we have been exploring and sharing all the amazing things we’ve found in nature.
Emily is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist who is most often found out in the woods.