It’s great to see our Jays returning to the feeders now and again to grab a peanut or two,. The last time we saw them at close range was probably late August.
Jay-Garrulus glandarius (Corvidae)
The Jay is one of the most widespread members of the crow family and occupies a huge range from the rainforests in Thailand to the Siberian Taiga. They are widespread across the UK excluding Northern Scotland. They are mostly found in woodland, both coniferous and deciduous ad sometimes in parks and gardens.
They are shy and nervous birds and are sometimes reluctant to leave their woodland habitats. When flying across clearings and roads they do so ne at a time, the following bird not breaking cover until the first has safely made it across.Flight often appears laboured with erractic flapping movements.
A Hya’s diet os very varied and includes Beech mast, acorns, fruit, insects, bird eggs and ocassionally young birds.
Jays start hoarding acorns at the beginning of Autumn and are hid in crevices or on the ground. Jays can retrieve up to several thousand acorns.
Large gatherings of Jays usually take place around March. These groups comprise of individuals seeking mates. The nest is built by both partners and laying takes place in late April to May. They usually lay betwee 5 and seven egg. Juveniles leave the nest around three weeks but do not become fully independant until late September, October.
The majority of Jay populations are sedendary but European Jays may make small migrations to the East coast of England if the Acron crop has failed in Europe.
In the past they have been persecuted by game keepsers and fishermen who used the turquoise wing feathers for fly fishing.
Here’s the screeching call:jay1