Scientific name: Garrulus glandarius
Family: Crows (Corvidae)
Wingspan: 52 - 58cm (21 - 23")
Diet: Mainly seeds, nuts and insects; acorns primarily, but sometimes very small mammals
Feed with: Sunflower hearts, sunflower seeds/mixes and peanuts
Habitat: Jays can often be located in deciduous and coniferous woodland areas, especially during autumn.
Lifespan: 4 Years
THE JAY IS THE MOST COLOURFUL of the crow family in the UK. With a pinkish-brown back, white throat, black and white features on the rump, wings and tail, as well as a beautiful graded stripe of dark and light blue on the wings, this relatively shy bird is abundant throughout the UK.
Jays are shy and unassuming birds that love to live among the trees of deciduous and coniferous woodland. With a strong appetite for acorns, the jay can be found hoarding these nuts during autumn for later consumption in cold winters. If you don't get the chance to see one, listen for their distinctive screeching calls - click on the audio button below.
JAYS HAVE QUITE A VARIED DIET of nuts, seeds and insects but primarily feed on acorns from the oak tree. They have been known to feed on nestlings and other very small mammals.
IN THE GARDEN, consider using peanuts and odd scraps form the kitchen. You may find that Jays come to the garden to feed in pairs, and sometimes in groups of more than three, although you may notice aggressive rivalry may spark in greater numbers than two.
Jay Breeding & Nesting
JAYS BREED IN LATE APRIL, and the incubation period for eggs is between 16 - 17 days, with approximately 19 - 20 fledge days. Jay eggs are smooth, glossy with a light blue hue and a dash of sandy-brown speckles. In a romantic twist, jays are noted for pairing for life.
THE NESTS are usually untidy, made of materials such as twigs and can be located in shrubs and trees.