The blue head feathers stand up in a crest that is accented with black. Careful observation of courtship and nesting behavior is the best way to tell the sexes apart. Adult. Both females and males look the same. Blue jays are often seen in courtship groups of three to ten blue jays. For example, if a female begins to fly, the males follow; when the female lands, the group of males also land. Since 2010, Batema has been an active writer in the fields of education, parenting, science and health. Is the Coronavirus Crisis Increasing America's Drug Overdoses? © bellemare celine | Macaulay Library Quebec, February 03, 2017. After landing, the female blue jay will observe while the males bob their heads and fluff their feathers in attempts to attract the female. After landing, the female blue jay will observe while the males bob their heads and fluff their feathers in attempts to attract the female. The blue head feathers stand up in a crest that is accented with black. Blue jays have a peculiar habit when they molt, or lose their feathers, called "anting." However, the female does most of the work of work in building the actual breeding nest. They also eat insects, seeds and grains. Unlike some other birds, male and female blue jays usually form mating pairs that bond for life. Blue jays are often seen in courtship groups of three to ten blue jays. Will 5G Impact Our Cell Phone Plans (or Our Health?! For example, if a female begins to fly, the males follow; when the female lands, the group of males also land. Their unmistakable plumage includes various shades of bright blue on their wings and tails, white or grey underparts, white patches on the wings and tail and a dark band around the neck, known as a necklace. They also perform this behavior with berries. Blue jays are large songbirds often identified by their blue bodies and head crests, or sometimes by their noisy calls. The birds rub ants on their bodies, presumably to soothe their skin until new plumage grows. Both the male and female blue jay will share responsibility at first while building practice nests. ), The Secret Science of Solving Crossword Puzzles, Racist Phrases to Remove From Your Mental Lexicon. However, subtle differences can be observed during their courtship and mating ritual. Female blue jays are usually smaller than male blue jays, but is physically similar. The female also does most of the incubating of the pair’s eggs while the male blue jay will bring food to the female. Careful observation of behavior is the only way to positively identify male from female blue jays. Careful observation of behavior is the only way to positively identify male from female blue jays. Both females and males look the same. Blue jays usually congregate in groups of around three to ten individuals. Males and females behave differently during the nest-building period, which takes about a week. In these groups, a single female blue jay determines the behavior of the surrounding males. Blue jays live at the edges of forests, as well as in parks and yards, especially those with oak trees that provide their favorite food, acorns. The female leads the group, and if she flys somewhere, the male birds follow her. Male blue jays tend to be larger in size than females, but since males and females share the same plumage, it is difficult to tell them apart by size alone. The wings and tail are barred with black, and it has a bold white wingbar. Blue jays live at the edges of forests, as well as in parks and yards, especially those with oak trees that provide their favorite food, acorns. One of the primary ways of identifying a female blue jay from a male blue jay is watching how the bird behaves during courtship. Blue jays are known for their intelligence. Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. After the female lands, she will simply observe the others, while the male of the birds will notably bob their heads up and down to try an… In these groups, a single female blue jay determines the behavior of the surrounding males. Their social, mating and nesting behavior indicates tight family bonds. Blue above and white below, with a prominent crest and a bold black necklace. She holds a bachelor's degree in music therapy and creative writing. Cara Batema is a musician, teacher and writer who specializes in early childhood, special needs and psychology. Female blue jays are bright blue with a bluish-cast white chest and belly, and the wings and tail appear "tiled" with blocks of blue, white and black.