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Merlin Bird ID

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    Blue Jay

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    Blue Jay

    Cyanocitta cristata
    • ORDER: Passeriformes
    • FAMILY: Corvidae
    Basic Description

    This common, large songbird is familiar to many people, with its perky crest; blue, white, and black plumage; and noisy calls. Blue Jays are known for their intelligence and complex social systems with tight family bonds. Their fondness for acorns is credited with helping spread oak trees after the last glacial period.

    More ID Info
    image of range map for Blue JayRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

    Find This Bird

    Blue Jays are most often detected by their noisy calls. Near shorelines they migrate in loose flocks; you can recognize them by their steady flight, rounded wings, long tail, and white underside. Resident birds may associate in flocks; they usually fly across open areas one at a time, often silently. Also watch for them at feeders.

    Other Names
    • Chara Azul (Spanish)
    • Geai bleu (French)

    Backyard Tips

    Blue Jays prefer tray feeders or hopper feeders on a post rather than hanging feeders, and they prefer peanuts, sunflower seeds, and suet. Planting oak trees will make acorns available for jays of the future. Blue Jays often take drinks from birdbaths. Find out more about what this bird likes to eat and what feeder is best by using the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds bird list.

    • Cool Facts