The Blue Jay (Latin name 'Cyanocitta Cristata') is a passerine bird in the Corvidae family . It's also known as a 'Jaybird' and it's name comes from it's noisy nature . It is native to North America and is in most of eastern and central US although some go to to other countries . Breeding populations can be found in southern Canada and resident populations can be found in Newfoundland as well as the US . The Blue Jay measures 22-30cm from it's bill to it's tail and weights 70-100g . It's wingspan is 34-43cm . They have a crest on their heads, a crown of feathers that can be raised and lowered according to the bird's mood . When excited or aggressive, the crest will be fully raised . When frightened, the crest bristles outwards . When the bird is feeding or resting, the crest is flat on it's head . Like most other blue-hued birds, the colour of the Blue Jays don't come from pigments in the feathers but is actually a result of the light bouncing off the feathers because of their feathers' internal structure .
The Blue Jay is a noisy, bold and aggressive bird . However, it's also highly curious and intelligent . Young Blue Jays play with each other by snatching brightly coloured or reflected objects and carry them around until they lose interest of their discovered item . It flies quite slow when it doesn't need to go fast . It flies with it's body and tail level, with slow wing beats . Blue Jays are easy for hawks and owls to catch because they fly so slow while hawks and owls are fast fliers . The Blue Jays are beneficial to other bird species as it may chase other birds which are birds of prey . If they see a predator in it's territory, they scream and do an alarm call to warn other birds of danger . Smaller birds often recognize the call and hide themselves away so they wont get seen . They may also be aggressive towards people which come close to it's nest because we're scary to them and they think that we would hurt them . They are very territorial birds and will only chase others from a feeder so they can get an easier meal . They also raid other birds' nests and steal things from them, such as eggs, chicks and even the nest itself, but this is rare .
It mainly feeds on nuts and seeds, such as acorns and soft fruits, by using their strong beaks, and they also eat arthropods and occasionally small vertebrates (a type of insect) . The feeding sources for this type of bird are mainly trees, shrubs and the ground, although it sometimes catches insects that are flying in the air . Like squirrels, they are known to hide their food so they can eat it later and other animals don't get to their food . The nests they build are described as an open cub shape, which both genders work together to make . The nest can contain two to seven eggs, which are identified from how they're blueish or light brown with brown spots . The young are brooded by the female for 8-12 days after hatching and they may remain with their parents for one-two months .
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