While they live in many parts of the country all year round, jays become much easier to spot in autumn as they start storing food for the months ahead. In today’s blog, we look at five fantastic facts about these charismatic birds.
Jays are closely related to crows and ravens. Despite their colourful appearance, they’re part of the corvid family, which also includes jackdaws, choughs and magpies.
They can mimic other birds. An ability they have in common with their corvid cousins, jays can imitate the calls of other birds such as buzzards and tawny owls. They’ve even been reported mimicking cats!
Jays are excellent at growing trees. A single bird can bury up to 5000 acorns in a season, but they don’t necessarily dig them all back up. Many of these leftover acorns will eventually grow into oak trees.
They can raise their crown feathers into a crest. When jays are excited, communicating with others or trying to impress a mate, they often show off a beautiful black and white crest. Very dashing!
Their scientific name describes them perfectly. Garrulus Glandarius roughly translates from Latin into ‘chatterer of acorns’. Quite accurate for a noisy mimic who plants oak trees.
Check out our website for more information on these amazing birds.
All images © Ben Andrew
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