Interesting Facts About Blue Jays: Blue Birds With A Cunning Sense Of Smell

teresting Facts About Blue Jays: Blue Birds With A Cunning Sense Of Smell

Have you ever seen a blue jay flitting around your backyard? These colorful birds are filled with personality and have become some of the most beloved creatures in North America.

Fun fact about Blue jays, did you know they possess an incredible sense of smell that rivals even the best sniffing dogs out there?

I’m here to tell you all about these fascinating feathered friends, from their unique noses to what makes them so special. Get ready to learn more than you ever thought possible about one of nature’s cutest critters!

Overview Of Blue Jays

Hey everyone! Today, we’re going to talk about the amazing blue jays. These beautiful birds in north America are known for their bright blue color, with the scrub jay most famous Florida scrub jay and stellers jay being native to western north America. 

Blue jay fact, their scientific name is (Cyanocitta cristata). Male and female blue jays look very similar. They have white chest feathers with black markings on them. You may be familiar with the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team who use this bird as their logo!

You may be familiar with the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team who use this bird as their logo!

Other fascinating facts about wild blue jays are they often mimic other animal noises. They’ve been known to copy cats meowing, dogs barking, and even hawks screeching!

These birds also migrate between Canada and Mexico each year in search of warmer climates during winter months. And if you live in Arkansas or Missouri, then congratulations, your state has made the blue jay its official bird!

Distribution And Habitat

Blue Jays are one of the most widely recognized bird species. They inhabit eastern and central North America, from southern Canada down to northern Florida. During winter months, they migrate south as far as Central Mexico. They prefer wooded areas with oak trees, but can be found in a variety of habitats, including gardens, parks, and backyards.

Blue Jays inhabit eastern and central North America, from southern Canada down to northern Florida

a picture showing a beautiful blue jay standing on a tree branch during the day

The birds particularly enjoy sunflower seeds and readily visit backyard feeders for them. This makes them popular among bird watchers, who flock to outdoor spaces when these beautiful creatures make an appearance.

Besides being attractive birds with blue-grey feathers and white faces, blue jays are also known for their cunning sense of smell and resourceful use of tools; some have even been observed rubbing ants on their feathers for insect protection!

When the time comes to raise young ones, blue jays build nests high in tree branches where they can keep watch over their baby birds until they fledge into adulthood.

If you’re lucky enough to spot a few blue jays in your neck of the woods, take advantage. This iconic species is sure not to stay around too long!

Physical Characteristics

The blue jay’s physical characteristics are quite striking. They have a bright, deep blue feather crest, back and wings that contrast with their white chest and belly. The males and females look alike, although males are slightly larger than females. 

These small birds have a wingspan of 11-13 inches.

To help you spot them in your next bird watching adventure, note that blue jay feather also have black lines on their face around their eyes and a distinctive “V” shape on their tail feathers when they fly. These small birds have a wingspan of 11-13 inches.

Interesting facts about blue jays: the brown pigment found in Blue Jay feathers is melanin and they can soar for long distances or take sharp turns quickly because of their powerful wings. 

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What do Blue Jays Like to Eat? Diet And Feeding Habits

shoiwng a blue jay picking up a peanut to eat

Blue jays eat fruits, nuts, acorns, insects, peanuts, sunflower seed and other small creatures, however their favourite food source is acorn nuts. 

Blue Jay’s favourite food source is acorn nuts

They form monogamous pairs in the spring and share meals with each other during mating season. They also visit bird feeders to get their fill of seeds or suet, making them one of the most common birds in backyard bird feeders across America.

When looking for food on the ground, they use clever methods such as feigning injury by dragging a wing along the dirt to lure unsuspecting prey into view. As well as using their cunning sense of smell to locate food sources like rotting fruit, that may not be visible from afar.

Breeding And Nesting Habits

Every year in the late fall and early spring, they migrate to warmer climates like Florida or Mexico. During this breeding season, many pairs of blue jays set out to find suitable grounds to build their nests for their offspring.

They like wooded areas near open fields where they can easily search for food while avoiding predators like the red-shouldered hawk. Here is another Blue Jay fact. One of their favorite trees is an oak tree!

Here is another Blue Jay fact. One of their favorite trees is an oak tree!

In wilder regions, they get very defensive when looking after their nests by chasing off any intruders that may come too close to blue jay eggs. This behavior is especially apparent during mating season as male blue jays will rub themselves against female ones as part of courtship rituals. 

The birds nest itself is usually made from twigs and mud lined with softer materials such as feathers and fur. Once the eggs have hatched, both parents take turns feeding younger blue jays until they are ready to leave the nest.

Migration Patterns

Blue jays’ migration patterns remain a mystery, as there is no predictable pattern of migration. While some Blue Jays migrate south during the winter, others choose to remain in the same habitat in the colder climates.

Blue Jays may travel over 400 miles per day during migration.

Some Blue Jays migrate south one year and not the next, while younger birds are more likely to migrate than the older ones. Blue Jays migrate during the daytime in loose flocks, sometimes with as little as five birds and up to 250, and may travel over 400 miles per day during migration.

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Threats To Blue Jays’ Survival

Every year, millions of blue jays fly south to escape the cold weather. But for many, this journey is not an easy one; there are multiple threats to their survival that can make it difficult for them to complete the migration or even leave their nest in the first place.

The biggest and most immediate threat to young jays is predation from other birds, animals and insects. Many predators use their sense of smell to locate a nesting site and snatch unsuspecting chicks right out of their nests.

Unfortunately, due to human activity such as deforestation and urbanization, suitable habitats with enough resources like food and water may be scarce. This makes it more difficult for blue jays to migrate safely or build secure homes in which they can raise their families without fear of attack.

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Social Behaviour

Blue jays are very social birds. They live in small groups and they can see blue from a long way away! This means that they can recognize their fellow blue jays from far off, except for when the sky is grey or overcast.

They are active throughout the day, especially during dawn and dusk, when they are looking for food, and will warn others of any potential danger by making loud calls. They love being around people and you might even catch one at your feeder if you’re lucky!


When it comes to vocalizations, blue jays are known for their loud and complex calls. When they migrate south, a group of blue jays can make a cacophonous racket that can fool other birds into thinking there’s a large flock of them when in reality, there might only be one or two!

They have many different types of calls – alarm cries, contact calls and flight calls – as well as singing during mating season. They also mimic the sounds made by other species of birds, making them incredibly versatile communicators.

Overall, blue jays use vocalizations to communicate with each other and other species, letting everyone know what is happening around them. It’s amazing how these little birds need so much communication just to survive!


It’s no secret that Blue Jays are intelligent birds. In fact, they were declared the official state bird of New Jersey in 2017 and they’ve been the mascot of the Toronto Blue Jays Major League Baseball team since 1977!

They’re able to use their cunning sense of smell to fool other birds into thinking they have a nest nearby so they can steal food from them. Not only does this help keep them safe, but it also helps them find food sources quicker than other species could do on their own.

Their ability to recognize danger and respond quickly is unparalleled among smaller songbirds. This intelligence has allowed blue jays to survive in environments with many predators.

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Blue Jay Anting

Blue Jays engage in a strange and comical ritual known as “anting” where they rub ants onto their feathers as if they were taking a bath. This behavior is thought to be used by Blue Jays in order to remove the formic acid from the ants, making them more palatable.

The formic acid also serves to protect Jays from infestations of parasites as well as bacteria. Other birds may stay away from ants because of the formic acid making them taste bitter, but Blue Jays are able to take advantage of the benefits of the acid while being able to enjoy a tasty snack. It is truly remarkable how intelligent and resourceful birds can be.

What Does it Mean When You See a Blue Jay?

Seeing blue jays is associated with symbolism in different cultures around the world. Often it is believed to be a sign of luck or good fortune coming your way. They also symbolize communication and intelligence, which makes perfect sense when you consider their keen noses!

Seeing a Blue Jay is a sign of luck or good fortune coming your way!

They may also stand for joy and protection since they travel in groups and look out for each other while flying. Seeing multiple blue jays all at once might mean someone looking out for us during our times of need.

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Interesting Facts About Their Sense Of Smell

These majestic birds have a cunning nose for finding food and avoiding danger. It may surprise you to learn how they use their nose in the wild, so let’s take a closer look.

Their strong sniffers allow them to detect food from far away and even identify potential predators before they get close enough to cause harm. They also rely on their noses to find nuts, fruits, insects, and other small items that make up their diet.

Their strong sniffers allow them to detect food from far away and even identify potential predators.

Also, blue jays can distinguish between scents better than almost any other bird species, allowing them to quickly determine if something is edible or dangerous.

What are some interesting facts about Blue Jays for kids?

Blue Jays are colorful and noisy birds with beautiful blue and white feathers that belong to the crow family, Corvidae. They are very territorial and aggressive and have great vision, even at night! Blue Jays are also intelligent birds and are known to mimic other bird calls, like hawks.

Blue Jays are noisy, very territorial and aggressive, and have a great vision even at night!

They have a wingspan of 13 to 17 inches and typically weigh between 2.5 and 3.5 ounces. Blue Jays are omnivorous, meaning they eat acorns, nuts, and seeds, but also eggs and nestlings of other birds. They are monogamous and mate for life. Male and female Blue Jays look the same and can live longer than most small birds.

They also have a unique behavior of rubbing ants on their feathers! They are found across North America from forests to suburban backyards and have a characteristic blue jay call “Jay! Jay!” 

Are Blue Jays the smartest bird?

The answer to this question is a resounding yes. An interesting fact about Blue Jays is that they belong to the Corvidae family, alongside ravens, crows, and magpies, and this family of birds is considered to be among the most intelligent on earth.

Blue Jays have a high brain-to-body ratio, can recognize both friends and enemies, and can solve complex problems quickly. Their intelligence is further shown by their use of tools, like strips of newspaper, to bring their food closer, as well as their ability to recognize themselves in a mirror and to mimic sounds, both in the wild and in captivity.

Blue Jays have a high brain-to-body ratio, can recognize both friends and enemies, and can solve complex problems quickly.

Blue jays also show signs of advanced intelligence when it comes to gathering food and storing it for the winter. They will select only the best nuts to hoard and bury, suggesting that they can make smart decisions.

Overall, blue jays are incredibly smart birds that have many signs of intelligence. They use tools to their ability to recognize themselves in a mirror. Therefore, it can be confidently said that blue jays are one of the smartest birds in the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Blue Jays Mate for Life?

The answer is yes! Blue Jays form monogamous pairs that remain together until one dies or gets captured by hunters. They build and maintain nests together, and the female Blue Jay chooses her mate and they typically become monogamous mates for life.

The male Blue Jay will feed the female and guard their territory during the nesting season. Blue Jays also tend to stay with their kids for much of the year and become devoted parents.

What Are The Common Predators Of Blue Jays?

Well, I’m here to tell you that these birds have a lot of natural enemies. From hawks and owls to cats and snakes, there’s no shortage of creatures out there who see blue jays as an easy meal!

That said, it isn’t just hunters that pose a threat to these beautiful birds. They also face dangers from habitat destruction due to human activity, and need safe places where they can nest undisturbed but sadly, those spaces are becoming harder to find every day.

That’s why conservation efforts like planting trees in urban areas or creating protected habitats for wildlife are so important; they give our feathered friends a chance to thrive.

How Do Blue Jays Protect Themselves From Predators?

These colorful creatures have a few different tactics to keep them safe in the wild, and are well-known for being able to outsmart most of their predators. One of the main ways they defend against predators is by using their sharp eyesight and hearing.

They’re capable of spotting potential threats from far away and making loud calls as warnings to other nearby birds when danger approaches. Additionally, these birds also rely heavily on their cunning sense of smell; this allows them to detect preying animals before they can even be seen or heard.

But that’s not all they also employ an effective distraction technique called ‘mobbing’. When a predator appears, flocks of blue jays will fly around it en masse while shrieking loudly in order to disorient it until it leaves the area entirely.

This behavior has been highly successful at keeping these feathered friends safe from harm!

Do Blue Jays recognize humans?

There is no definitive answer to this question as each bird has its own unique personality. However, in general, blue jays are not known to be particularly friendly towards humans and may even view us as a threat.

If you want to attract blue jays to your yard, it’s best to provide them with food and nesting materials rather than try to interact with them directly.

How Do Blue Jays Communicate With Each Other?

Blue Jays communicate with each other through a variety of vocalizations such as jeer cries, pump handle calls, and lower-frequency, gut-originating sounds.

In the fall when there are fewer leaves on trees, it is easier for them to communicate using their high-frequency calls. During the mating season in spring, males use courtship calls to attract females. They are also known to mimic the calls of other birds, including hawks, cats, and owls, to alert other Blue Jays of a potential danger or to scare away other birds from their territory.

They also communicate their mood with the crest of feathers at the top of their head; when excited or agitated the crest will raise, whereas when relaxed the crest will lay flat against the head.

What Is The Average Lifespan Of A Blue Jay?

The average lifespan of a Blue Jay is about 7 years in the wild. However, there have been instances where individual wild Blue Jays have lived up to 26 years and 11 months.

The typical life cycle for the young blue jay starts with the parents for the first few months until the fall season, after which they fledge, reach maturity at one year old and find a mate. The pair will stay together for the rest of their life.


The blue jay is a remarkable bird that has captivated people for centuries. With their beautiful colors and bold personalities, it’s no surprise they have become so popular in North America. 

Knowing the bird facts about this species can help us appreciate them even more and take action to protect them from predators and attract them to your bird feeder.