Blue Jay Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Kristina Washington-Morris

Kristina has taught a variety of elementary classes and has a master's degree in elementary education.

If I asked you to think of a bird that can imitate the sounds of another creature a blue jay probably doesn't come to mind. Blue jays are beautiful birds with many talents. In this lesson we'll explore facts about blue jays.

What Are Blue Jays?

A Blue Jay
blue jay

If you've ever seen a noisy, aggressive blue bird while at a park, chances are it was a blue jay. Blue jays are intelligent songbirds found in forests and suburban areas throughout most of North America. They have bright blue backs with white or grey bellies and necks. Blue jays also have a blue crest, a tuft of feathers on top of their head. A blue jay's crest looks like a little blue birthday hat on their head. The second part of their name comes from the loud jay! jay! sound they often make. Blue jays can make more than just this jay! jay! call though. They are songbirds and are known for being very noisy birds. Blue jays can even mimic hawk calls to keep predators away from their nests.

A Blue Jay Shows its Crest
blue jay crest

Blue Jays grow to be about 10-12 inches long. This is about the length of a notebook. Adult blue jays can weigh about three ounces, nearly the same weight as a deck of cards. Male blue jays do tend to grow a little larger than female blue jays, though.

What Do Blue Jays Eat?

Blue jays are omnivores, or animals that eat a mix of nuts, seeds, plants, and other animals. They will eat acorns, seeds, fruits, insects, frogs, mice, eggs, and even smaller songbirds still in the nest. Have you ever seen a dog hide a bone to protect it from other creatures? Well blue jays and dogs have this trait in common. Blue jays often keep a cache, or a hidden area, filled with nuts and seeds.

A Blue Jay Eating Nuts
blue jay eats

Where Do Blue Jays Live?

Blue jays are found in North America in both Canada and the United States. They primarily live in the center and east coast of the continent. Blue jays commonly live at forest edges, but can be found in suburban areas with many big trees. Acorns are a large part of a blue jay's diet so they often nest in Oak trees.

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