Birds of St. Charles County, MO
Blue Jay

Blue Jay
Cyanocitta cristata

Size: 12"

Male: A large, bright light blue and white bird with black necklace. Crest moves up and down at will. White face with black markings near beak and eyes. Gray belly. White wing bars on blue wings. Black spots and a white tip on blue tail.

Female: Same as male.

Juvenile: Similar to adult. Duller blue with brighter white and less black markings on face.

Nest: Female and male build cup nest. One or two broods per year.

Eggs: 4-5; green to blue with brown markings

Incubation: 16-18 days; female incubates

Fledging: 17-21 days; male and female feed young

Migration: The Blue Jay can be found in St. Charles County year round.

Food: Insects, fruit, carrion, seeds, nuts (especially peanuts, shelled or whole), and will come to seed feeders.

Facts: Highly intelligent and problem-solving, the Blue Jay will often scream like a hawk to scatter birds at a feeder before approaching. Also known as an alarm bird, as it will scream at any intruders and announce the sighting of dangerous birds, such as hawks. Caches food, often burying it, and can be trained to retrieve food thrown to it. (Such as aforementioned shelled and whole peanuts.) If trained, a Blue Jay will perch nearby and beg for food until it is thrown to it and will often cry for more.

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