This gregarious and intelligent backyard bird is most easily recognized for its size (about 11 in), color (a bold blue with white spots on its wings and tail), and unique features such as a black “necklace” and crest. The Blue Jay call is loud and frequent, resembling a harsh slurring of the word jeeah.
Blue Jays appear to be fearless as they swoop into feeding areas, scattering other birds and even squirrels. When they feed, they’ll often collect a large stash of seeds in their throat pouch, then fly away and hide their treasure before coming back for more. While they can be a bit boisterous at times, the Blue Jay is largely credited for warning other song birds when a predator—like a cat or raptor—are nearby.
Blue Jays are most likely to live near edges of forests, suburban gardens and feeding stations. They’re fond of nuts, such as acorns or peanuts. In fact, they’re a blast to watch as they pull a peanut in the shell from a peanut feeder! They’ll also eat a variety of birdseed, including sunflower and safflower seeds, whole and cracked corn, and suet.