The blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata) is a passerine bird in the family Corvidae, native to North America. It resides through most of eastern and central United States, although western populations may be migratory. Resident populations are also found in Newfoundland, Canada, while breeding populations can be found across southern Canada. It breeds in both deciduous and coniferous forests, and is common in residential areas. It is predominantly blue with a white chest and underparts, and a blue crest. It has a black, U-shaped collar around its neck and a black border behind the crest. Both sexes are similar in size and plumage, and plumage does not vary throughout the year. Four subspecies of the blue jay have been recognized.
The blue jay mainly feeds on nuts and seeds such as acorns, soft fruits, arthropods, and occasionally small vertebrates. It typically gleans food from trees, shrubs, and the ground, though it sometimes hawks insects from the air. Like squirrels, blue jays are known to hide nuts for later consumption. It builds an open cup nest in the branches of a tree, which both sexes participate in constructing. The clutch can contain two to seven eggs, which are blueish or light brown with brown spots. Young are altricial, and are brooded by the female for 8–12 days after hatching. They may remain with their parents for one to two months.
|In Algonquin Provincial Park, Canada|
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4 sspp., see text
Breeding range Year-round rangeSee also Wintering rangetext for recent range expansion.
Corvus cristatus Linnaeus, 1758
The blue jay was first described as Pica glandaria cærulea cristata in English naturalist Mark Catesby's 1731 publication of Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahamas. It was later described as Corvus cristatus in Carl Linnaeus' 1758 edition of Systema Naturae. In the 19th century, the jay was described by French ornithologist Charles Lucien Bonaparte in 1838 as Cyanocorax cristatus in A geographical and comparative list of the birds of Europe and North America, and given its modern scientific name Cyanocitta cristata by Hugh Edwin Strickland in 1845. The genus name Cyanocitta derives from the Greek words 'kyaneos' (blue) and the 'kitta' and 'kissa' (chattering bird, jay), and the term 'blue chatterer' refers to the bright blue plumage of the head, nape, back, and tail of the bird. The specific name cristata (crested, tufted) derives from Latin referring to the prominent blue crest of the jay.
The blue jay measures 22–30 cm (9–12 in) from bill to tail and weighs 70–100 g (2.5–3.5 oz), with a wingspan of 34–43 cm (13–17 in). Jays from Connecticut averaged 92.4 g (3.26 oz) in mass, while jays from southern Florida averaged 73.7 g (2.60 oz). There is a pronounced crest on the head, a crown of feathers, which may be raised or lowered according to the bird's mood. When excited or aggressive, the crest will be fully raised. When frightened, the crest bristles outwards, brushlike. When the bird is feeding among other jays or resting, the crest is flattened on the head.
Its plumage is lavender-blue to mid-blue in the crest, back, wings, and tail, and its face is white. The underside is off-white and the neck is collared with black which extends to the sides of the head. The wing primaries and tail are strongly barred with black, sky-blue and white. The bill, legs, and eyes are all black. Males and females are almost identical, but the male is slightly larger.
As with most other blue-hued birds, the blue jay's coloration is not derived from pigments but is the result of light interference due to the internal structure of the feathers; if a blue feather is crushed, the blue disappears because the structure is destroyed. This is referred to as structural coloration.
The blue jay occurs from southern Canada (including the southern areas of provinces from Alberta eastward to Quebec and throughout the Atlantic provinces) and throughout the eastern and central United States south to Florida and northeastern Texas. The western edge of the range stops where the arid pine forest and scrub habitat of the closely related Steller's jay (C. stelleri) begins, generally in the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Recently, the range of the blue jay has extended northwestwards so that it is now a rare but regularly seen winter visitor along the northern US and southern Canadian Pacific Coast. As the two species' ranges now overlap, C. cristata may sometimes hybridize with Steller's jay. The increase in trees throughout the Great Plains during the past century due to fire suppression and tree planting facilitated the western range expansion of the blue jay as well as range expansions of many other species of birds.
The northernmost subspecies C. c. bromia is migratory, subject to necessity. It may withdraw several hundred kilometres south in the northernmost parts of its range. Thousands of blue jays have been observed to migrate in flocks along the Great Lakes and Atlantic coasts. It migrates during the daytime, in loose flocks of 5 to 250 birds. Much about their migratory behavior remains a mystery. Some are present throughout winter in all parts of their range. Young jays may be more likely to migrate than adults, but many adults also migrate. Some individual jays migrate south one year, stay north the next winter, and then migrate south again the next year. To date, no one has concretely worked out why they migrate when they do. Likely, it is related to weather conditions and how abundant the winter food sources are, which can determine whether other northern birds will move south.
The blue jay occupies a variety of habitats within its large range, from the pine woods of Florida to the spruce-fir forests of northern Ontario. It is less abundant in denser forests, preferring mixed woodlands with oaks and beeches. It has expertly adapted to human activity, occurring in parks and residential areas, and can adapt to wholesale deforestation with relative ease if human activity creates other means for the jays to get by.
Four subspecies are generally accepted, though the variation within this species is rather subtle and essentially clinal. No firm boundaries can be drawn between the inland subspecies. The ranges of the coastal races are better delimited.
The blue jay is a noisy, bold, and aggressive passerine. It is a moderately slow flier (roughly 32–40 km/h (20–25 mph)) when unprovoked. It flies with body and tail held level, with slow wing beats. Due to its slow flying speeds, this species makes easy prey for hawks and owls when flying in open areas. Virtually all the raptorial birds sympatric in distribution with the blue jay may prey upon it, especially swift bird-hunting specialists such as the Accipiter hawks. Diverse predators may prey on jay eggs and young up to their fledging stage, including tree squirrels, snakes, cats, crows, raccoons, opossums, other jays and possibly many of the same birds of prey who attack adults.
The blue jay can be beneficial to other bird species, as it may chase predatory birds, such as hawks and owls, and will scream if it sees a predator within its territory. It has also been known to sound an alarm call when hawks or other dangers are near, and smaller birds often recognize this call and hide themselves away accordingly. It may occasionally impersonate the calls of raptors, especially those of the red-tailed and red-shouldered hawks, possibly to test if a hawk is in the vicinity, though also possibly to scare off other birds that may compete for food sources. It may also be aggressive towards humans who come close to its nest, and if an owl roosts near the nest during the daytime the blue jay mobs it until it takes a new roost. However, blue jays have also been known to attack or kill other smaller birds and sleeping, foliage-roosting bat species such as Lasiurus borealis. Jays are very territorial birds, and they will chase others from a feeder for an easier meal. Additionally, the blue jay may raid other birds' nests, stealing eggs, chicks, and nests. However, this may not be as common as is typically thought, as only 1% of food matter in one study was bird material. Despite this, other passerines may still mob jays who come within their breeding territories.
Blue jays, like other corvids, are highly curious and are considered intelligent birds. Young individuals playfully snatch brightly coloured or reflective objects, such as bottle caps or pieces of aluminum foil, and carry them around until they lose interest. While not confirmed to have engaged in tool use in the wild, blue jays in captivity have been observed using strips of newspaper as tools to obtain food, while captive fledglings have been observed attempting to open the doors of their cages.
Blue jays have strong black bills which they use for cracking nuts, usually while holding them with their feet, and for eating corn, grains and seeds. Its food is sought both on the ground and in trees and includes virtually all known types of plant and animal sources, such as acorns and beech mast, weed seeds, grain, fruits and other berries, peanuts, bread, meat, small invertebrates of many types, scraps in town parks, bird-table food and rarely eggs and nestlings. Blue jays will sometimes cache food, though to what extent differs widely among individuals. Although seemingly contentious in their general behavior, blue jays are frequently subservient to other medium-sized birds who visit bird-feeders. In Florida, blue jays were dominated at feeders by Eastern gray squirrels, Florida scrub-jays, common grackles and red-headed woodpeckers, all of which were occasionally observed to aggressively prevent the jays from feeding.
The mating season begins in mid-March, peaks in mid-April to May, and extends into July. Any suitable tree or large bush may be used for nesting, though an evergreen is preferred. The nest is preferentially built at a height in the trees of 3 to 10 m (9.8 to 32.8 ft). It is cup-shaped and composed of twigs, small roots, bark strips, moss, other plant material, cloth, paper, and feathers, with occasional mud added to the cup.
Blue jays are not very picky about nesting locations. If no better place is available – e.g. in a heavily deforested area – they will even use places like the large mailboxes typical of the rural United States. They also appropriate nests of other mid-sized songbirds as long as these are placed in suitable spots; American robin nests are commonly used by blue jays, for example.
Blue jays typically form monogamous pair bonds for life. Both sexes build the nest and rear the young, though only the female broods them. The male feeds the female while she is brooding the eggs. There are usually between 3 and 6 (averaging 4 or 5) eggs laid and incubated over 16–18 days. The young fledge usually between 17–21 days after hatching.
After the juveniles fledge, the family travels and forages together until early fall, when the young birds disperse to avoid competition for food during the winter. Sexual maturity is reached after one year of age. Blue jays have been recorded to live for more than 26 years in captivity and one wild jay was found to have been around 16-17, and a half years old. A more common lifespan for wild birds that survive to adulthood is around 7 years. Beyond predation and the occasional collision with man-made objects, a common cause of mortality in recent decades has been the West Nile Virus, to which corvids as a whole seem especially susceptible. However, despite several major local declines, overall blue jays have not seemed to have been depleted by the disease.
Blue jays can make a large variety of sounds, and individuals may vary perceptibly in their calling style. Like other corvids, they may learn to mimic human speech. Blue jays can also copy the cries of local hawks so well that it is sometimes difficult to tell which it is. Their voice is typical of most jays in being varied, but the most commonly recognized sound is the alarm call, which is a loud, almost gull-like scream. There is also a high-pitched jayer-jayer call that increases in speed as the bird becomes more agitated. This particular call can be easily confused with the chickadee's song because of the slow starting chick-ah-dee-ee. Blue jays will use these calls to band together to mob potential predators such as hawks and drive them away from the jays' nests.
Blue jays also have quiet, almost subliminal calls which they use among themselves in proximity. One of the most distinctive calls of this type is often referred to as the "rusty pump" owing to its squeaky resemblance to the sound of an old hand-operated water pump. The blue jay (and other corvids) are distinct from most other songbirds for using their call as a song.
In old African American folklore of the southern United States, the blue jay was a significant metaphysical creature. In some tales the blue jay was credited with making the earth "when all de worl' was water" by bringing the first "grit" or "dirt". In other tales the blue jay was temporarily conscripted as a servant of the Devil to bring "kindling" to the "bad place": and "was not encountered on a Friday as he was fetching sticks down to Hell; furthermore, he was so happy and chirpy on a Saturday as he was relieved to return from Hell". 
The blue jay was adopted as the team symbol of the Toronto Blue Jays Major League Baseball team, as well as some of their minor league affiliates. Their mascot, Ace, is an anthropomorphic blue jay. The blue jay is also the official mascot for Johns Hopkins University, Elmhurst College, and Creighton University. The latter two spell the name as one word - Bluejay. It is also the provincial bird of the province of Prince Edward Island in Canada.
Athabasca County is a municipal district in north central Alberta, Canada. It is located northeast of Edmonton and is in Census Division No. 13. Prior to an official renaming on December 1, 2009, Athabasca County was officially known as the County of Athabasca No. 12.Blue Jay, California
Blue Jay is an unincorporated community located in San Bernardino County in California. It is located in the San Bernardino Mountains, above a region of California known as the Inland Empire.
It is within the San Bernardino National Forest. Blue Jay Village itself is located one mile from the southwestern bank of Lake Arrowhead.
The town is a part of the Lake Arrowhead Community. Other towns in this community are Lake Arrowhead, Running Springs and Cedar Glen.Blue Jay, Ohio
Blue Jay is a census-designated place (CDP) in Whitewater Township, Hamilton County, Ohio, United States. The population was 959 at the 2010 census.Blue Jay, West Virginia
Blue Jay is an unincorporated community in Raleigh County, West Virginia, United States. Blue Jay is southeast of Beckley. Its mines have yielded 1,587,229 tons of coal.Blue Jay (comics)
Blue Jay (real name Jay Abrams) is a DC Comics superhero and a former member of the Champions of Angor, also known as the Justifiers. He has the ability to shrink to seven inches tall and grow blue wings that allow him to fly. Blue Jay is a homage to the Marvel Comics character Yellowjacket. He first appeared in Justice League of America #87 (February 1971).Blue Jay (dinghy)
Blue Jay is a class of sailboat used primarily in the Northeastern United States. It is generally sailed with two people and features a mainsail, a jib, and a spinnaker. It is approximately 14 feet (4.2 m) long, usually the next step in junior dinghy racing from Optimists. Sailors between 12 and 18 years of age usually sail the craft, although it is also big enough for adults. It is sailed at yacht clubs from New Jersey to Connecticut. It is currently being phased out at a few of these yacht clubs and being replaced by the Pixel.The Blue Jay is the training boat for the Lightning.Blue Jay (film)
Blue Jay is a drama romance film directed by Alex Lehmann in his fictional feature debut, from a screenplay by Mark Duplass. It stars Duplass and Sarah Paulson. The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 12, 2016.The film was released on October 7, 2016, in a limited release prior to being released through video on demand on October 11, 2016.Blue Jay 6, West Virginia
Blue Jay 6 is an unincorporated community in Raleigh County, West Virginia, United States. Blue Jay 6 is located between Interstate 77 and U.S. Route 19 southwest of Shady Spring.Blue Jay Way
"Blue Jay Way" is a song recorded by the English rock band the Beatles. Written by George Harrison, it was released in 1967 on the group's Magical Mystery Tour EP and album. The song was named after a street in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles where Harrison stayed in August 1967, shortly before visiting the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco. The lyrics document Harrison's wait for music publicist Derek Taylor to find his way to Blue Jay Way through the fog-ridden hills, while Harrison struggled to stay awake after the flight from London to Los Angeles.
As with several of Harrison's compositions from this period, "Blue Jay Way" incorporates aspects of Indian classical music, although the Beatles used only Western instrumentation on the track, including a drone-like Hammond organ part played by Harrison. Created during the group's psychedelic period, the track makes extensive use of studio techniques such as flanging, Leslie rotary effect, and reversed tape sounds. The song appeared in the Beatles' 1967 television film Magical Mystery Tour, in a sequence that visually re-creates the sense of haziness and dislocation evident on the recording.
While some reviewers have dismissed the song as monotonous, many others have admired its yearning quality and dark musical mood. The website Consequence of Sound describes "Blue Jay Way" as "a haunted house of a hit, adding an ethereal, creepy mythos to the City of Angels". Among its continued links with Los Angeles, the song was one of the first Beatles tracks that cult leader Charles Manson adopted as the foundation for his Helter Skelter theory of an American race-related countercultural revolution. Artists who have covered the song include Bud Shank, Colin Newman, Tracy Bonham, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Greg Hawkes.De Havilland Firestreak
The de Havilland Firestreak is a British first-generation, passive infrared homing (heat seeking) air-to-air missile. It was developed by de Havilland Propellers (later Hawker Siddeley) in the early 1950s and was the first such weapon to enter active service with the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Fleet Air Arm, equipping the English Electric Lightning, de Havilland Sea Vixen and Gloster Javelin. It was a rear-aspect, fire and forget pursuit weapon, with a field of attack of 20 degrees either side of the target.The Firestreak was the third heat seeking missile to enter service, after the AIM-4 Falcon and AIM-9 Sidewinder which both entered service the previous year. In comparison to those designs, the Firestreak was much larger and heavier, carrying a much larger warhead. It had otherwise similar performance in terms of speed and range. Limitations of the design led to an improved version, the Hawker Siddeley Red Top, but this never completely replaced Firestreak. Firestreak remained in service until 1988, when it was retired along with the last RAF Lightnings.Europe (Paul Motian album)
Europe is an album by Paul Motian and the Electric Bebop Band released on the German Winter & Winter label in 2000. The album is the group's fifth release, following Paul Motian and the Electric Bebop Band (1992), Reincarnation of a Love Bird (1995), Flight of the Blue Jay (1997) and Play Monk and Powell (1998).Flight of the Blue Jay
Flight of the Blue Jay is an album by Paul Motian released on the German Winter & Winter label in 1997 and featuring performances of bebop jazz standards by Motian with the Electric Bebop Band. The album is the group's third release following the 1992 album Paul Motian and the Electric Bebop Band and the 1995 album Reincarnation of a Love Bird.Jay
Jays are several species of medium-sized, usually colorful and noisy, passerine birds in the crow family, Corvidae. The names jay and magpie are somewhat interchangeable, and the evolutionary relationships are rather complex. For example, the Eurasian magpie seems more closely related to the Eurasian jay than to the East Asian blue and green magpies, whereas the blue jay is not closely related to either.Johns Hopkins Blue Jays
The Johns Hopkins Blue Jays are the athletic teams that represent Johns Hopkins University. They compete in the NCAA Division III, except for their lacrosse teams, which compete in Division I. They are primarily members of the Centennial Conference. The team colors are Columbia blue (PMS 284) and black, and the blue jay is their mascot. Homewood Field is the home stadium.
Hopkins celebrates Homecoming in the spring to coincide with the height of the lacrosse season. The Lacrosse Museum and National Hall of Fame, governed by US Lacrosse, was located on the Homewood campus, adjacent to Homewood Field, until 2016 when it moved to its new facilities in Sparks, Maryland. Past Johns Hopkins lacrosse teams have represented the United States in international competition. At the 1932 Summer Olympics lacrosse demonstration event Hopkins played for the US. They have also gone to Melbourne, Australia to win the 1974 World Lacrosse Championship.Len Barker's perfect game
On May 15, 1981, Len Barker of the Cleveland Indians threw a perfect game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Cleveland Stadium, the tenth perfect game in Major League Baseball history. The Indians defeated the Blue Jays 3–0, as Barker did not allow a baserunner. Barker never once reached ball three against any Blue Jay hitter. He struck out eleven Blue Jays hitters (all of them swinging) including seven of the last eleven batters.Barker's perfect game is the most recent no-hitter thrown by a Cleveland pitcher. "I run into people almost every day who want to talk about it," Barker said in 2006. "Everyone says, 'You're probably tired of talking about it.' I say, 'No, it's something to be proud of.' It's a special thing."Barker was the first perfect game pitcher who did not come to bat during the entire game, with the American League having adopted the designated hitter in 1973.
Ron Hassey, Barker's catcher, would catch Dennis Martínez's perfect game in 1991, thus becoming the only catcher, to date, to catch two perfect games.
Danny Ainge, who would play 14 seasons in the National Basketball Association, was on the losing end of this game. He grounded out and struck out in his two at-bats; in the ninth inning, he was pinch-hit for by Alvis Woods, who struck out.Play Monk and Powell
Play Monk and Powell is an album by Paul Motian and the Electric Bebop Band released on the German Winter & Winter label in 1999 and featuring performances of tunes by Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell. The album is the group's fourth release following the 1992 album Paul Motian and the Electric Bebop Band, the 1995 album Reincarnation of a Love Bird and the 1996 release Flight of the Blue Jay.School District 34 Abbotsford
Abbotsford School District is a school district in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia. The district is located in the city of Abbotsford.
It has seen steady growth as a result of Abbotsford's place as one of the fastest growing cities in North America.Steller's jay
The Steller's jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) is a jay native to western North America, closely related to the blue jay found in the rest of the continent, but with a black head and upper body. It is also known as the long-crested jay, mountain jay, and pine jay. It is the only crested jay west of the Rocky Mountains. It is also sometimes colloquially called a "blue jay" in the Pacific Northwest, but is distinct from the blue jay of eastern North America.Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays are a Canadian professional baseball team based in Toronto, Ontario. The Blue Jays compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) East division. The team plays its home games at the Rogers Centre.
The "Blue Jays" name originates from the bird of the same name, and blue is also the traditional colour of two of Toronto's other professional sports teams: the Maple Leafs (ice hockey) and the Argonauts (Canadian football). In addition, the team was originally owned by the Labatt Brewing Company, makers of the popular beer Labatt's Blue. Colloquially nicknamed the "Jays", the team's official colours are royal blue, navy blue, red, and white. An expansion franchise, the club was founded in Toronto in 1977. Originally based at Exhibition Stadium, the team began playing its home games at the SkyDome upon its opening in 1989. Since 2000, the Blue Jays have been owned by Rogers Communications and in 2004, the SkyDome was purchased by that company, which renamed it Rogers Centre. They are the second MLB franchise to be based outside the United States, and currently the only team based outside the U.S. after the first Canadian franchise, the Montreal Expos, became the Washington Nationals in 2005.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Blue Jays went through struggles typical of an expansion team, frequently finishing in last place in its division. In 1983, the team had its first winning season and two years later, they became division champions. From 1985 to 1993, they were an AL East powerhouse, winning five division championships in nine seasons, including three consecutive from 1991 to 1993. During that run, the team also became back-to-back World Series champions in 1992 and 1993, led by a core group of award-winning All-Star players, including Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar, Joe Carter, John Olerud, and Devon White. The Blue Jays became the first (and, to date, only) team outside the US to appear in and win a World Series, and the fastest AL expansion team to do so, winning in its 16th year. After 1993, the Blue Jays failed to qualify for the playoffs for 21 consecutive seasons, until clinching a playoff berth and division championship in 2015. The team clinched a second consecutive playoff berth in 2016, after securing an AL wild card position. Both years, the Jays won the AL Division Series but lost the AL Championship Series.
The Blue Jays are one of two MLB teams under corporate ownership, with the other being the Atlanta Braves (who are owned by Liberty Media).
Extant species of family Corvidae