Blue Jay

Blue Jay

Blue Jay
(Cyanocitta cristata)

Order:  Passeriformes
Family:  Corvidae

Photo © Don DesJardin

Blue Jay Information

Length:  11 - 12.5"

Habitat:  Deciduous and mixed woodlands, especially those with oaks and beeches; less frequently, coniferous forests; farmlands, roadsides, parks, and residential areas.

Diet:  Acorns (staple) and other nuts, seeds, wild fruits and berries, insects and spiders, birds' eggs and nestlings; occasionally, frogs and mice.

  Calls and sounds of the Blue Jay

Preferred Bird Feeder Food

Blue Jays favor peanuts, whole or shelled. They also enjoy black oil sunflower seeds, cracked corn, dried fruit, and suet. They will at times eat safflower seeds and millet.

These birds prefer platform feeders or large hoppers. However, they will readily feed on the ground or from suet cages and sometimes will eat from tube feeders.

Additional Information

Blue Jay
Photos, range, habitat, description, reproduction, lifespan, behavior, communication, food habits, predation, and conservation status. (From Animal Diversity Web)

Blue Jay

Blue Jay

By Mdf [CC SA 3.0]

  More Winter Feeder Birds

Blue Jay
Identification Tips

  • Black sturdy bill
  • Blue crest and upperparts
  • Black eyeline and breastband
  • Grayish-white throat and underparts
  • Bright blue wings with black bars and white patches
  • Long blue tail with black bars and white corners
  • Dark legs
  • Migrates during the day in small flocks

Similar Species

Because of its large size, blue coloration and crest the Blue Jay is quite distinctive. Steller's Jay has dark underparts. Other jays lack a crest and have different markings.

(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)

Blue Jay
Breeding Bird Survey Map,

Blue Jay Breeding Map

(Image credit: USGS)

Range in New England

The Blue Jay is found year-round in the New England region.

Blue Jay
Range Maps from Cornell

Blue Jay year-round and nonbreeding range

Includes separate map of sightings.

Blue Jay
Christmas Bird Count Map

Historical CBC Map from USGS