Has anyone else heard this sound before - coming from a Jay ?

I heard a very strange and different sound coming from a Jay that was just visible in the middle of the Laurel shrubs, not sure if it was alone (as we have 3 Jays that come into the garden) or one of the other Jays was there near it;     with never having heard this sound before I was wondering if any of you had heard this Jay sound and if so is it an alarm call or something else............  

I had to switch my camera to video mode in order to capture the sound,  so this is intended purely as a sound recording and not a picture video !   The Jay was too far back to video.   


Regards, Hazel 

  • What a very strange sound aitch, bit like a push mower with a stone caught in it!!

    Edit:  Have you listened to these sounds ..... http://www.garden-birds.co.uk/birds/jay.htm 


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  • Evening and thanks for the link Wendy,  it was such a bizarre sound that I had never heard from a Jay before;  as you know I am very familar with the Jays which are in and out of the garden all day long with their various screeching sounds but this was a new sound to me and I am sure it was a Jay as I could just about see it and it had just been to the stumpery area;    as you say, like a lawn mower with a stone stuck in the blades  lol


    Regards, Hazel 

  • Never have I heard anything like that sound coming from any bird in my entire life. Would be interested to know exactly why it was happening. Tried googling for Jay sounds but nothing even comes close to this. Alarm call or peanut allergy?

  • I've never heard anything like that either, Hazy. Members of the crow family are great mimics so I wonder whether that's what's going on. I can't imagine what it is mimicking though apart from the aforementioned mower.

    I had a trawl through xeno-canto to see if I could find anything similar. This was the closest I could find. It has a similar rhythm although not the same sounds.

    This could be a first for Jay calls.




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  • thanks for your replies Wendy, Bill and TJ,  I have to admit that if it wasn't for the fact I could see most of the Jay in the laurel I would have wondered what on earth was making this sound, it was unlike anything I've heard from a Jay.     I suppose there is a very remote chance another corvid could have been next to him but the sound happened as soon as he flew from the stumpery into the shrub and if it was another bird or corvid I am sure I would have heard the Jay responding in one of its familiar sounds as they are quite feisty creatures.  I'm 99% convinced it was the Jay although without seeing the bill or throat which was hidden it leaves a 1% doubt.    I guess the birds have plenty of sounds we have never heard, just a large repertoire but I have scrolled through lots  of Jay sounds and there isn't one to match, as you say TJ.        Thanks again folks for your efforts.


    Regards, Hazel 

  • I've read that Jay's have a different alert call for every possible type of danger so perhaps you had something in your garden that the Jay hadn't seen before. Just a theory...


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  • Unknown said:

    I've read that Jay's have a different alert call for every possible type of danger so perhaps you had something in your garden that the Jay hadn't seen before. Just a theory...

      Thanks Gus,  that sounds very plausible and it did sound more like an alarm type sound,  I think the corvids in particular have such a wide ranging series of sounds.   The Jays are daily visitors and I often hear them "screech" and other sounds they use but this was a first !     perhaps it was telling one of the squirrels off for stealing its peanuts    lol   


    Regards, Hazel 

  • Hello, although this was a long time ago it just came up for me in a search for Jay sounds today. 29/3/24. Just want to thank you for posting, as I just clearly heard and saw a Jay close by, hopping about in our magnolia tree making very similar sound, never heard before, and we see Jays regularly. I think it was annoyed that there were no peanuts as squirrels have had them all again. It definitely sounded like it was demanding some more food! Or telling the pigeons off on ground below! 

  • I also saw/heard some different unusual Eurasian jay sounds yesterday - vaguely reminiscent of an old telephone ring! It was definitely jays making this sound - I had binoculars to check. My bird ident app got very confused and I haven't been able to find any reference to this noise from jays online. Has anyone heard this before? There was a group of four jays making all sorts of strange clicks and squeaks, including this sound. Perhaps a territorial or mating song? I also know Eurasian jays can mimic buzzards - maybe some of these odd calls might be mixed with mimicked sounds they have picked up??