All About Blue Jays

Create: 10/22/2015 - 23:08

With the Toronto Blue Jays in the race the pennant, we thought you would like to learn more about the Blue Jays…

Blue Jay Randy Kokesch

Photo Credit: Randy Kokesch

Some facts about Blue Jays (Cyanocitta cristata):

  • Blue jays have a preference for acorns. They store them and forget them, so they are credited for planting many oak trees in their history. Toronto Blue Jay Jose Bautista’s loves to eat steak at Barberians or Jacobs in Toronto.
  • Other preferred food at feeders includes; suet, peanuts and sunflower seeds – and they prefer eating them off tray or hopper feeders over hanging feeders.
  • They will also eat insects, nuts, seeds, dead and injured small vertebrates, including other birds. Jose Bautista also likes Southern style food.
  • Blue Jays have a reputation to steal eggs from other nests, however studies show less than 1% had bird eggs in their stomach contents. Lloyd Moseby holds the team record for the most stolen bases with 255.
  • They can eat by holding food in their feet and can store 2-3 acorns in their throat at a time.

Blue Jay with peanut Samantha Fulford

Photo Credit: Samantha Fulford
  • Known for their tight family bonds. Blue Jay pairs mate for life. The Toronto Blue Jays introduced new team mascots Diamond and Ace in 2000. They did not mate for life, Diamond left Ace in 2003. Ace is now the sole mascot for the Blue Jays.
  • Blue Jays are very noisy and communicate with a wide range of calls and through body language, namely the crest on their heads. When the crest is flattened, they are relaxed. When it is up, they are agitated or aggressive. Blue Jays make their noises when they perched, not when flying. Blue Jay fans make their noises everytime they WIN!
  • Captive birds have mimicked human speech and they are excellent at mimicking the cry of the Red Shouldered Hawk and a few other hawks, to chase off other birds.
  • They will mob owls to chase them away. Although there are no reports of Blue Jays mobbing any Royals, we are sure that they can…and will! Let’s go Blue Jays!
  • Migration of the blue jay is a bit of a mystery – some do, some don’t. There doesn’t appear to be a definitive formula for who goes and who stays – juveniles may be more likely to migrate, but not always. Some will migrate one year, but not the next year. About 20% of the population migrate.
  • They have a tendency to flock together in large numbers in the fall at migration time. even if they aren’t migrating.
  • Their blue colour is actually caused by brown melanin pigment, which reflects blue due to the scattering of light through specialized cells. The Toronto Blue Jay Uniforms are really blue.

Blue Jay in Winter Brenda Rychlowski

Photo Credit: Brenda Rychlowski
  • Oldest banded Blue jay was 17 ½ years old! Latroy Hawkins, Blue Jay Relief Pitcher is currently the oldest active player in MLB at 42 years old.
  • Blue Jays go through a regular moulting process where they drop and regrow new feathers, but sometimes they lose all the feathers on their head at the same time and appear bald. This usually happens around late summer/early fall. It could be caused by environmental and/or nutritional factors or mites in their feathers.
  • Blue Jays are common in Kansas City, both the birds and the team.
  • To learn more about the Toronto Blue Jays visit: http://toronto.bluejays.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=tor

Some Good Bird ID Apps:

1.Merlin Bird ID (free)

2.iBird – various versions – (free and paid)

3.Sibley eGuide to Birds (paid)

4.Audubon Bird Guide (free)

Best Online Resource for Blue Jays and all Other North American Birds:

Cornell Lab of Ornithology – All About Birds website