Saturday, 4 April 2015

Bird of the week - Jay

Garrulus glandarius is a great name for the jay.  Garrulus meaning chatterbox and glandarius from glandis, Latin for acorn.  (Our word gland comes from the same root, presumably because enlarged lymph glands reminded early physicians of acorns.)  Jays have a close association with oaks, stashing and eating acorns in the winter and eating the caterpillars and beetles on oaks in the summer.  They are not easy birds to photograph, being very camera shy. These two have been hanging around outside the kitchen window all this week, no doubt attracted by the peanuts as there probably isn't a lot else to eat.

One way round their wariness is to use the trail camera.  It has produced a few good pictures such as these.

Jays are woodland birds and are not common in gardens, being recorded in around 10% of gardens in the BTO Garden BirdWatch.

The overall population has been fairly stable in recent years.

Read more about jays on the Natural History Museum website here or on the BTO site here.  Listen to the BBC Tweet of the Day on the jay here.

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