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Blue Jay   

Order: Passeriformes
Family: Corvidae
Genus: Cyanocitta
Species: cristata

Blue Jay, R. Bruce Horsfall, A Year with the Birds, Alice Ball, 1916

 Louis Agassiz Fuertes

La. passer  sparrow, small
La. forma  form, kind, species
La. corvus  raven
Gr. kuaneos  dark blue
Gr. sitta  kind of woodpecker
La cristata  crested
About twelve inches long. Purplish blue above with a conspicuous crest.  Black forehead and some black around the neck joining some black on the back.

Wings and tail bright blue barred with black. Grayer underneath and lighter on the throat & tail coverts.

Inhabits coniferous and mixed forests throughout most of North America from the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic Coast from the Gulf states to Newfoundland. Move but do not migrate.

USGS Blue Jay Map

Bluejays build nests of twigs, leaves, roots and odd rubbish usually in pine trees up to twenty feet high deep in forests, in groves and they have a special liking for wooded towns and even major cities where they are quite accustomed to people.

Lays three to six pale olive speckled eggs which hatch after about two weeks incubation and young leave the nest in about another three weeks.

The Blue Jay is a miser.  It  buries hoards of grain, nuts and acorns, or hides them in knot holes and behind loose bark many of which are forgotten and left to the mice and squirrels or to replant the forest.

Eats various fruits and larger insects, bark and wood borers, grasshoppers and caterpillars and occasionally a mouse, small fish or snail.

Blue Jay, Louis Agassiz Fuertes, Fifty Common Birds of Farm and Orchard, 1913

Louis Agassiz Fuertes

Intelligent, inquisitive and mischievous. Exhibits forethought and reasoning. Amuses, tricks, wrecks, robs and hides.

The warning call of alarm that gives it its name alerts the whole forest, sometimes arousing flocks to harass owls.   Has another common note that sounds like a barn door squeak. Is quite talented at imitating other birds like the Red-shouldered and Red-tail Hawks, and other odd noises, even machinery.
A bully at feeders.  Jays regularly strike dogs and cats and sometimes take a swipe at the top of someone's head as they walk by.

The Bluejay Platform (below, same as for Mourning Dove or Robin) free woodworking plans have an 8" by 8" base, approximately a 8" ceiling, an open front and partially open sides. The gable roof provides extra head room for large birds. 

Any of the platforms will do, however, being larger birds, Blue Jays, Robins, and Doves will prefer the larger platforms. Use the Open Platform under a porch roof.                   

Blue Jay, Louis Agassiz Fuertes, Birds of America, 1917

Neltje Blanchan

Mount platforms for Blue Jays in a tree or on the side of a garage or shed over looking both open spaces and foliage in your back yard around ten to twelve feet high. Carefully select a location that provides a balance of protection from predators, elements, access, visibility, and varying sunlight.

Robins, Mourning Doves, Phoebes, Song Sparrows and Barn Swallows may use these platforms.


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