Eurasian Jay

The Wildlifer

Eurasian Jay 

Garrulus glandarius – Latin translation – ‘chattering and noisy’ and acorns

Eurasian Jay 

Garrulus glandarius – Latin translation – ‘chattering and noisy’ and acorns

I love this particular bird for many reasons. However, it is one of my challenging bird species. I have only a few photographs of this beautiful bird. I am either too slow or too noisy or too fast or, or, or … There are usually more ‘ors’ than photographs. 

I am sometimes in the right place at the wrong time, with no camera, or in the right place with the right bit of kit but with no show from Jay!

I saw the Jay frequently when l was out for my early morning walks during the spring and summer months. A somewhat shy but colourful woodland species was usually seen more as a fleeting glimpse of white rump and a flash of bright blue than an actual sighting. 

You can often hear their distinctive shrill if you don’t see them.

I was, however, on occasion lucky with the camera and the zoom and would catch sight of this beauty when it descended onto a branch, having been disturbed whilst feeding on the ground.

Eurasian Jays are from the same family as Crows [Corvidae], but unlike them, they are much more challenging to see! It isn’t a big bird, about the same size as other favourites of mine like the Jackdaw and the Magpie.

I have seen quite a few Jays around Sandwich. The first time l saw them here was in the churchyard of St Clements, foraging for acorns. They are notorious hoarders. They will hide the acorns away in cracks and crevices in trees and bury them in the ground. It is not unheard of or unusual for the Jay to store away several thousand acorns in autumn, ready for retrieval during winter.

I often see them skipping amongst the fallen leaves at the reserve in the quest for the holy treat of the day. This is an unsurprising habitat range for them as they favour woodlands, mature forest or oak woods. I have also, on occasion [not often admittedly], seen them in my garden in Willow, feeding either on the bird table or the ground and taking the occasional drink from the water feature.

If it’s not acorns, Jay’s diet is quite versatile, which has come about due to so much of its natural habitat being damaged by new builds. They are not averse to mixing the dietary requirements up and will feast upon other nuts, seeds and insects, worms, grubs and slugs, newts and tiny frogs, small rodents like mice and shrews and even young birds and eggs.

Jays are extremely intelligent with excellent memories, needed when you consider just how many acorns they have scurried away into many a nook and cranny!

Most often referred to as the Jay, Common Jay and Eurasian Jay, they have also been nicknamed the Acorn Jay, Blue Jay or the Jay Pie.

Jays are paired for life with their partners, work together during nest building, and are involved in the joint rearing of the young. Clutches of 4 – 6 eggs are not uncommon. The incubation period is between 16 – 19 days. The Jay nest is a rather scraggly affair constructed in shrubs or trees from twigs, and roots and mud and feather down or horsehair for the inside lining. The chicks are fully fledged between the 25 and the 30 -day mark, by which time they can start to fly.

The Jay is also known as a mimic when copying other bird calls and sounds.

My friend Jay can be somewhat shy and elusive … either at a long distance away OR hidden and hiding when closer.

Always a challenge!

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25 thoughts on “Eurasian Jay

    1. I love Crows too! I talk to the ones who come around my house every day. I agree with you, they are EXTREMELY intelligent. I read one article that said they can recognize and remember individual human faces. You do NOT want to make them angry😂😂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh yes, crows most definitely recognize faces. The most fun is if you feed them, and they decide they like you they will bring you presents – little sparkly doodads they find. All jays are pack rats and feathered thieves. I live in an apartment building and don’t have a balcony so I don’t get to make friends with them.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. The Eurasian Jay is a beautiful bird! What a treat to catch a sighting of him! Blue Jays here aren’t shy at all. They’re loud and boisterous and bring their whole clan to dominate the feeder so that you have to be careful that the smaller birds get enough to eat too. Thank you for sharing about him. I enjoyed learning about him ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gorgeous friend! We don’t seem to have as many pretty song birds around here. Even our Jays aren’t very blue🤷🏼‍♀️ I can console myself with the knowledge that we DO have wild Parrots and hummingbirds year round. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. … a big girl camera as opposed to just a bigger camera? In truth, l am astonished at times at the quality calibre of some of these cells and their ability to craft images.

        Some of the phone’s cameras functions are far superior ro my own Canon? It’s bizarre.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think I just need to take more time with my phone camera. It’s a new phone and I’m not that familiar with the camera. There are several settings for photos.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. All Tit humour aside – from memory l think it might be from Norse word Tita which means small bird/animal. How it managed to only attach itself to birds l don’t know.

        but we do have colourful birds here also, you are right right and a lovely bunch of tits too 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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