Garrulus glandarius

The Jay is a large and rather exotically-coloured member of the crow family. Its plumage is predominantly pinky-brown in colour, with a white rump, black and white wings and a black tail. The wings have a bright blue flash and the face has a black moustachial stripe.

Jays have an incredible ability to learn and a great memory, both traits of the crow family as a whole, making them particularly adaptable and successful. Jays are well-known as hoarders of acorns, and a single Jay can hoard as many as 2,000 acorns during the autumn. Most of these are retrieved when food becomes scarce but a few are missed, so the Jay actually helps disperse acorns to new areas.

The Jay's diet is actually more varied than this. Carrion is readily eaten and road casualties may be taken where a road runs through woodland. In the summer, the eggs and young of other birds may be taken as a source of high protein nourishment for their own chicks.

Find out more about Jays on BirdFacts and the Wider Countryside Report.

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