The blue jay is often referred to as the thief of the bird world. They are known for stealing nests and even preying on the smaller, defenseless birds residing in those nests. Despite this, blue jays are beloved by bird watchers for their iconic bright blue feathering and their wide range of bird calls. The blue jay can be found in forest edges in North America.
Northern Blue Jay
The northern blue jay can be found as far west as the Colorado Rocky Mountains. These medium-sized birds have the famous blue feathers along with a black lining around its neck, small crest on its head and whites spots on both wings and tail. The northern blue jay is also an expert impersonator and often mimics the calls of crows and hawks. The diet of the northern blue jay consists mostly of seeds but also includes worms, insects, bird eggs and baby birds.
Coastal Blue Jay
The coastal blue jay is a mid-sized bird but slightly larger than the northern blue jay and has the brightest blue feathers of all the blue jay subspecies. These unique physical characteristics accompany the classic blue jay traits including white spots on the tail and wings and a black line across the neck, creating what looks like a black necklace. The coastal blue jay makes its home in large pine and oak trees in loosely packed nests made of twigs, leaves and bark. In fact, this blue jay has been known to use rags and paper to construct its nest.
Florida Blue Jay
The Florida blue jay is the smallest of the blue jay subspecies. Their blue feathers are also one of the dullest of the subspecies and they have the smallest wings and tail. Of course, the Florida blue jay has the typical crest and white spots on the wings and tail. This blue jay gets its name because it is found mostly in the Florida Peninsula. Its diet consists mostly of acorns, beechnuts and chestnuts (which are often hidden under leaves and in trees to be eaten later). The remainder of the diet includes insects, small birds and even small rodents.
- bluejay image by michael langley from Fotolia.com