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Jay (Garrulus glandarius) - Corvid

Garrulus glandarius (Jay)

The species Garrulus glandarius (Jay) belongs to the genus Corvus, which comprises of crows, Jackdaws, ravens and rooks. These birds are all part of the Corvidae family, which includes jays, magpies and nutcrackers.

The Jay is a highly coloured medium sized woodland corvid, and probably the most difficult of the corvid family to see in the wild, due to their shy and secretive behaviour. Due to their preference for dense cover and fast short bursts of flight, you are more likely to hear the loud screaming call as they leave shelter.

The Jay is most renowned for its feeding habits with acorns and their caching behaviour as it buries stores of acorns to keep them going in the tougher times when food is scarcer.

They have been known to bury several thousand acorns and more remarkably they can retrieve each one.

What they eat: Acorns, berries, insects, nuts and seeds. But will also take nestlings of smaller birds and small mammals.

Jay Lifecycle: The Jay starts to breed in April and the female lays and incubates 3-10 eggs in an untidy nest of twigs and moss hidden in thick cover. Both the parents tend to the young Jays and the young start to emerge approx 23 days later in late may onwards.

The fledglings appear very similar to the adults with only subtle differences like darker underparts and a finer crown.

Jay has been known to live for 4-5 years in the wild.

Jay movements : The British Jay is a sedentary resident although poor acorn harvests in Europe may push European birds to migrate to the east coast in large numbers in winter.

A few interesting facts about Jays.

1)The often get mugged by squirrels.

Squirrels offer follow Jays around to steal there cache.

2)The Jay has an incredible memory.

They can hide several thousand acorns across its territory over the season and it can retrieve many.

3)They are monogamous.

The paired up Jays will often pair up for life.

4)Jays are widespread

Except the north of Scotland

5. They help to grow trees

Cached Acorns from forgetful Jay, will germinate and grow into a new tree so they help replant the woodland.

©2017 by Yorkshire Animal Welfare Society.