4 Amazing Things To Know About The Blue Jay

blue jays how long do they live what color are their eggs what do baby blue jays look like what do they eat songbirds (5)
There are 10 different species of Blue Jay found across the United States, Southern Canada, and even up to Alaska. From Steller’s Jay to Florida Scrub-Jays, these beautiful blue birds can be found at birdfeeders throughout North America. 

Regardless of species, Blue jays are generally temperamental, territorial, and overall very beautiful birds.

What Do Blue Jays Look Like?

On most Blue Jay species, the head and backside are an almost vibrant royal blue color, while the wings and tail feathers are a striped pattern of bright blue, black, and white tips. The underbelly and backside of the tail feathers are sometimes grey but primarily white in color. 

blue jays how long do they live what color are their eggs what do baby blue jays look like what do they eat songbirds (3)

Of course, as the name suggests, the Blue Jay (cyanocitta cristatas) looks like a blue bird overall. The contrast between the bright white underbelly and the shiny blue top-side and blue crest makes these birds attractive and noticeable to any birdwatcher. Blue Jays are relatively easy to spot against the rich green backdrops of nature.

While some species of this bird vary from region to region, most Blue Jays are large and dominate local bird feeders.

Blue Jay

The Blue Jay is commonly found in the eastern regions of North America.

Some live as far up as southern Canada, while most reside in deciduous forests of the east coast in America. Blue Jays are known to migrate between New York down to South Florida.

In the north, their feathers are a muted blue, while southern blue jays have a bright blue coat of feathers. What makes their feathers so unique is the stripe of black that looks like they are wearing a black necklace.

How Long do Blue Jays Live

California Scrub-Jay

The California Scrub Jay lives primarily in California and reaches as far inland as Nevada. They reside primarily in dry coniferous regions along the Pacific coastline. They are much smaller than a Blue Jay, with a stature similar to a bluebird or a house sparrow.

These bluebirds have a muted blue coat with hints of white and grey on their breast. They often hang around backyard bird feeders and love acorns, bugs, and suet.

Texas Jay Songbird

Texas Jay Songbirds have similar coloring as the northern Blue Jay.

Their bright blue feathers are punctuated with accents of blue and black feathers in their underparts. They are just as charismatic and territorial as other Blue Jays and eat just about anything! While their diet consists mainly of birdfeeder offerings, they are also known to eat things like acorns, nuts, and on rare occasions- nestlings.

How Long do Blue Jays Live 1

Mountain Jay

The Mountain Jay is referred to as a Steller’s Jay or the scientific name of Cyanocitta Stelleri. What makes the Mountain Jay unique is its unique coat. While other Jays have blue and white feathers, the Mountain Jay has bright blue coloring with black plumage around its head.

They primarily live in mountain regions along the Pacific coast up to Alaska. These birds are incredibly vocal and can be pretty aggressive. When one of their broods is in danger, they alert fellow birds in the area that there is danger.

Woodhouse Jay Songbird

The Woodhouse Jay Songbird is referred to as the Florida Scrub-Jay. In the Jay family, this bird is much smaller than other species. It has the statue of a house sparrow with the coloring (and temperament) of a blue jay.

While some Woodhouse Jay’s migrate, many stay put throughout the winter. It’s infrequent for bird watchers to spot a Florida Scrub-Jay outside of Florida.

How Long do Blue Jays Live 2

What Color Is a Blue Jay’s Beak?

No matter what species of blue jay you spot in your backyard, they all have black beaks. Since blue jays eat just about anything, their beaks are impossibly strong.

They use these beaks for fishing peanuts out of their shells and tearing them into carrion.

How Big Is the Blue Jay?

The size of Blue Jays varies from location to location. In the north, the deciduous forest-living blue jays have a wing span of 34-43 inches. That’s quite large!

Due to their size, they often have difficulty eating at many traditional backyard bird feeders. On the flip side, the Florida Jay has a wing span of only 13-14 inches.

In the video below, we rounded up 10 of the most fascinating facts about Blue Jays!

How to Tell the Difference in Female and Male Blue Jays?

Spotting the difference between the two isn’t black and white. This is a question that even plagues the most dedicated bird watchers.

Unlike most birds, it is almost impossible to tell the difference between male and female blue jays. While it’s difficult to tell the gender of a blue jay at a glance, you need to take notice of their behaviors.

During mating season, the male courts the female blue jay, making it easier to spot the difference between the two. Outside the mating season, blue jays don’t have noticeable differences between genders.

Tara Summerville

Tara Summerville is a freelance writer that loves her backyard birdfeeders. She enjoys sitting on her deck with a cup of coffee, watching cardinals, blue jays, finches, and chickadees munch away at her backyard offerings. Her fascination with birds began as a child; spending afternoons at her grandma's house watching and identifying birds. She has since carried her love of songbirds into adulthood and ensures no bird in her yard goes hungry!

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