About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Why are they called Blue "Jays"?

A Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) eating peanut...
Image via Wikipedia
Blue Jay Cyanocitta cristata
Order: PASSERIFORMES Family: Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Description
Blue jays are bright blue birds with blue head crests, black wing markings and black necklaces. They are a large songbird about 10-12 inches and weigh about 3 ounces

Behavior
Bright and bold, blue jays often travel in noisy family groups in late summer and fall. Their discovery of good feeding sight is announced to the whole community of birds. They also are very good at giving early warnings of hawk, cats, or other predators in the area.

General
Their name “Jay” has its origins from the Latin “gaius” meaning “gay or merry.” The species name cristata originates from the Latin word crista, meaning “crested.” The longevity record for banded Blue Jays in the wild is over 17 years, the longest of any of the jays.
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