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Tue Oct 22, 2019, 12:57 AM

How Well Do You Know the Blue Jay?

There's a lot more to these birds than being feeder bullies.

By BirdNote
October 21, 2019

Blue Jay. Photo: Harrison Martin/Audubon Photography Awards

This is BirdNote.

If we had to pick one birdís voice to symbolize our Eastern woodlands, the Blue Jayís voice would likely be it. Its familiar calls ring year-round through deciduous forests east of the Rockies.

And as a frequent visitor to back yards and bird feeders, the Blue Jay is among the most widely recognized birds of the region. As well as one of the most colorful: its upperparts glint bright blue from the tip of the tail to the peak of its stylish crest.

Nearly a foot long, Blue Jays can be loud and assertive when they approach a bird feeder, pushing smaller songbirds aside. But when nesting, the same jays can be as stealthy and quiet as the most expert ninjas, sneaking to and from their nests with uncanny secrecy.

And as familiar as the typical call might be, these birds are immensely creative vocalists, with a large vocabulary of other calls, including piping notes, rattles, and astute mimicry of birds of prey, such as the Red-shouldered Hawk.


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Reply How Well Do You Know the Blue Jay? (Original post)
Judi Lynn Oct 22 OP
democrank Oct 22 #1
watrwefitinfor Oct 22 #2

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Oct 22, 2019, 02:40 AM

1. Recommended

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Oct 22, 2019, 07:39 AM

2. Thank you, Judi. One of my favorites. I LOVE blue jays.

My grandfather did bird calls for me, sometimes whistling through his hands, or a blade of grass held to his mouth. They often called back to him. It was such a treat to hear the recorded blue jay calls on the Audubon link. I was too small to think to ask him where or why he learned to do that.

My favorite calls were for the blue jays. (Well, maybe after the Bob Whites.)


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