July in Blue Jays Calendar
“The Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) is a passerine bird, and a member of the family Corvidae native to North America. It belongs to the “blue”, Canadian or American jays, which are, among the Corvidae, not closely related to other jays. It is adaptable, aggressive and omnivorous, and has been colonizing new habitats for many decades.
The male Blue Jay measures 22–30 cm (9–12 in) from bill to tail and weighs 70–100 grams (2.47–3.53 oz), with a wingspan of 34–43 cm (13–17 in). There is a pronounced crest on the head, a crown of feathers, which may be raised or lowered according to the bird’s mood. When excited or aggressive, the crest may be fully raised. When frightened, the crest bristles outwards, brush like. When the bird is feeding among other jays or resting, the crest is flattened to the head.
Its plumage is lavender-blue to mid-blue in the crest, back, wings, and tail, and its face is white. The underside is off-white and the neck is collared with black which extends to the sides of the head. The wing primaries and tail are strongly barred with black, sky-blue and white. The bill, legs, and eyes are all black. Males and females are nearly identical except that males are slightly larger.
As with other blue-hued birds, the Blue Jay’s coloration is not derived from pigments but is the result of light interference due to the internal structure of the feathers; if a blue feather is crushed, the blue disappears as the structure is destroyed. This is referred to as structural coloration.
Blue Jays have strong black bills used for cracking nuts and acorns, and for eating corn, grains and seeds, although they also eat insects such as beetles, grasshoppers, and caterpillars."
June in Blue Jays Calendar