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Meet the Blue Jay

One of the most familiar birds of the Eastern US

If we had to pick one bird’s voice to symbolize our Eastern woodlands, the Blue Jay’s voice would likely be it. And as a frequent visitor to back yards and bird feeders, the Blue Jay is among the most recognized birds of the region. Nearly a foot long, Blue Jays can be loud and assertive when they approach a bird feeder, pushing smaller songbirds aside. But when nesting, the same jays can sneak to and from their nests with uncanny secrecy.

Support for BirdNote comes from the Port Aransas Tourism Bureau. Home to hundreds of species of birds and the Whooping Crane Festival in February. More at VisitPortAransas.com.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®  

Meet the Blue Jay

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote.

[Blue Jay calls] 

If we had to pick one bird’s voice to symbolize our Eastern woodlands, the Blue Jay’s voice would likely be it. [Blue Jay calls] Its familiar calls ring year-round through deciduous forests east of the Rockies. [Blue Jay calls]

And as a frequent visitor to back yards and bird feeders, the Blue Jay is among the most widely recognized birds of the region. As well as one of the most colorful: its upperparts glint bright blue from the tip of the tail to the peak of its stylish crest.

Nearly a foot long, Blue Jays can be loud and assertive when they approach a bird feeder, pushing smaller songbirds aside. [Blue Jay calls loudly] But when nesting, the same jays can be as stealthy and quiet as the most expert ninjas, sneaking to and from their nests with uncanny secrecy. 

And as familiar as the typical call might be, these birds are immensely creative vocalists, with a large vocabulary of other calls, including piping notes [Blue Jay piping notes], rattles [Blue Jay “rattles”], and astute mimicry of birds of prey, such as the Red-shouldered Hawk. [Blue Jay mimics a Red-shouldered Hawk]

To see a photo of this bird, and all we feature on the show, come to our website birdnote.org. For BirdNote, I’m Mary McCann.  

[Blue Jay calls]

Support for BirdNote comes from the Port Aransas Tourism Bureau. Home to hundreds of species of birds and the Whooping Crane Festival in February. More at VisitPortAransas.com.

###

Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Call of Blue Jay [176157] recorded by G.A. Keller; piping notes of Blue Jay [13448] by R.S. Little; “rattles” of Blue Jay [94220] by W.L. Hershberger; mimic of Red-shouldered Hawk [13448 after 1:35] by R.S. Little.

BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.

Producer: John Kessler

Executive Producer: Chris Peterson

© 2014 Tune In to Nature.org   October 2018   Narrator: Mary McCann.

ID#  BLJA-01-2013-10-30 BLJA-01

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