are blue jays a winter bird

With their bright blue feathers and their loud, piercing call, blue jays are among our most easily identifiable birds. If you keep bird feeders in your yard, you may have noticed that blue jays are kind of like the bully on the playground. They can be loud and aggressive, threatening smaller birds. Its for this reason that blue jays are not a favorite among many avid birders.

Blue jays live everywhere in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains and in parts of southern Canada, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Their migration patterns are not yet well understood by researchers. They are migratory, but not all birds migrate. They are present in most of their range throughout the year, although some blue jays do migrate south for winter.

Blue jays eat insects, nuts, seeds and grains. If youd like to attract them to your yard, try putting out peanuts, suet or sunflower seed, Cornell Lab advises. They prefer tray and hopper-style bird feeders to hanging feeders.

“On Monhegan round 9:30 a. m. On Friday, May 19, Betsy and I noticed a flock of thirty to forty jays flying northwest over the boreal forest to the north of the hamlet. Individual jays were seen moving for the next few minutes or so, mostly in the same direction as the group. ”.

It is hardly surprising that some of the most enigmatic bird species exist among our most recognizable and common avian companions. For instance, a lot of people are shocked to hear that Blue Jays travel. That’s because most Blue Jays don’t migrate.

“On Saturday at Schoodic, flocks of 40, 17, 13, 8, and stragglers by one or twos were observed.” All during morning from 6:15 to 9:30. ”.

Adding to the mystery is this: According to the Blue Jay account in Cornell’s “Birds of the World,” it’s still unknown whether or not most migrant Blue Jays are young birds. Banding station captures during migration in some years seem to have lots of young jays—but not in every year.

The only two records outside the U. S. are claimed to be from Bermuda, however the species account “Birds of the World” notes that neither of these records was supported by images or specimens, which would seem to imply that those records may be dubious.

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They don’t get much love

Blue jays don’t receive nearly as much respect as some of our other well-known birds, many of which are designated as state birds. Perhaps this is because of their reputation as bullies. Take the northern cardinal. Its the state bird of seven states, including Illinois. Additionally, three states have robins as their official bird, while five states have northern mockingbirds. Conversely, the state bird of exactly zero states is the blue jay.

Thats not to say blue jays get no respect. The Major League Baseball team in Toronto is named for the well-known blue-hued birds. Toronto was awarded an expansion MLB team in 1976, and the team has been called the Blue Jays since its inception. To name the team, the organization held a public contest that garnered more than 30,000 submissions of more than 4,000 name suggestions, according to Major League Baseball. One of the most common names submitted through the contest was the Blues, but because that was similar to the name for the mascot of the University of Toronto, a panel of judges selected the name the Blue Jays instead.

Additionally, our northern neighbors have expressed their admiration for the blue jay. The blue jay is the official bird of Prince Edward Island, a province in Canada. A few American universities, such as Creighton University, Elizabethtown College, and Johns Hopkins University, have made the blue jay their mascot.


Should I feed blue jays in the winter?

Blue Jays, Red-breasted Nuthatches, and Northern Cardinals are just a few of the many winter birds that provide a burst of color and activity across a stark winter landscape. Bird feeders can help attract birds to your space during the winter when natural food sources might be buried beneath snow or limited in supply.

How do blue jays survive the cold?

Description. We get flocks of Blue Jays and when it’s cold they all sit in a tree and puff up like big round balls to keep warm obviously.

Do blue jays stay in the summer?

Oddly enough, blue jays will form large flocks toward the end of breeding season (late summer). Many jays from the northern US will migrate south during the winter. However, there is a small group that stays throughout the year.

How rare is it to see a Blue Jay?

Conservation. Blue Jays are common, but their populations have declined by an estimated 0.6% per year for a cumulative decline of about 27% between 1966 and 2019 according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey.