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, December 29, 2013

Mysterious migration of the Blue Jays

Blue Jay by http://commons.wikimedia.org
The Blue Jays are found from southern Canada throughout all of Michigan and down to Florida and northeastern Texas. The western edge of the range stops where the arid pine forest and scrub habitat of the closely related Steller's Jay begins. Recently, the range of the Blue Jay has extended northwestwards so that it is now a rare but regularly seen winter visitor all along the northern US and southern Canadian Pacific Coast. As the two species' ranges now overlap, the Blue Jay may sometimes hybridize with the Steller's Jay.

Steller's Jay by http://commons.wikimedia.org
I usually see Blue Jays year-round in mid-Michigan but some may be migratory. Much about their migratory behavior remains a mystery. Some are present throughout winter in all parts of their range. Young jays may be more likely to migrate than adults, but many adults also migrate. Some individual jays migrate south one year, stay north the next winter, and then migrate south again the next year. To date, no one has worked out why they migrate when they do. Likely, it is related to weather conditions and how abundant the winter food sources are, which can determine whether other northern birds will move south.

My Blue Jays love Peanuts in the Shell. The Blue Jay mainly forages in the wild for nuts, seeds, soft fruits, berries and bugs. At the feeders they like any kind of nut, Oil Sunflower seed, Striped Sunflower seed and Suet.

Related Articles:
- Why do Birds Scatter Seeds from Feeders? http://bit.ly/w4vRPP
- Blue Jays aren't blue http://bit.ly/roVPVX
- What Feeder Do You Recommend for Blue Jays? http://bit.ly/txd8ja
- Blue Jay Fun Facts http://goo.gl/wJgMmJ
- Do birds know winter is coming? http://goo.gl/EilIa6
- Why Blue Jays go bald in the fall http://goo.gl/gAX3x 

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