A Blue Jay in my backyard in northeast Iowa. In the background is an oak tree in red autumn colors and a river birch that has already lost all of its leaves.
Cyanocitta cristata ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: CORVIDAE
Blue Jays are known for their intelligence and complex social systems with tight family bonds. Their fondness for acorns is credited with helping spread oak trees after the last glacial period.
Size & Shape
Large crested songbird with broad, rounded tail. Blue Jays are smaller than crows, larger than robins.
White or light gray underneath, various shades of blue, black, and white above.
Blue Jays make a large variety of calls that carry long distances. Most calls produced while the jay is perched within a tree. Usually flies across open areas silently, especially during migration. Stuffs food items in throat pouch to cache elsewhere; when eating, holds a seed or nut in feet and pecks it open.
Blue Jays are birds of forest edges. A favorite food is acorns, and they are often found near oaks, in forests, woodlots, towns, cities, parks.