Thursday, September 18, 2014

Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius) Song ya

(35 cm.) Pinkish color; white throat; black “mustache”; blue and black pattered wings; white rump

The Eurasian Jay, like other jays found in the world, is part of the “Corvidae” family which includes crows and magpies. The Eurasian Jay shares many characteristics of these birds including a harsh voice,  exceptional intelligence and a somewhat dark reputation for aggressive and predatory behavior.

This species shares the Black-billed Magpie’s love of eggs, and it will actively seek out the nests of other bird species to steal eggs and even chicks. Its aggressive nature is most often directed at birds larger than itself, however. The Eurasian Jay is known as a fierce rival of several birds of prey. It will harass owls and hawks during the day in an attempt to protect its own kind. During its attacks on the Tawny Owl, the Eurasian Jay will mimic the call of the owl. This bird has a great gift of mimicry, and its imitations of the sounds of other birds are difficult to distinguish from the real calls of the species it imitates.

In addition to eggs, the Eurasian Jay eats seeds, berries and other fruits. It is especially fond of acorns, and it seeks out oak forests as habitat to give it a steady supply of this food. Various animals such as small animals, insects, and other birds constitute a significant part of its diet.

This is a widespread species which is found throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. In China, this species is found in most of the eastern half of the country. Like most members of the Corvidae family, it is a non-migratory resident species within its range. Its varied diet allows it to consume foods in any season within its range.

Perhaps due to the destruction of the mixed oak forests which it favors, this species is moving into the cities where urban parkland can offer it the conditions it needs to survive.

The Eurasian Jay nests in a large shrub or a tree, and the female lays 4-6 eggs in an untidy stick nest. Both parents will feed the chicks after the eggs have hatched.

Despite its aggressive personality, or perhaps due to it, this species can end up being a prey item at night for the species of raptors which it bullies during the day
Photo by Pawel Kuzniar

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