Weird Nature
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Blue Jays May Be Cute, But They're Airborne Jerks Of The Highest Order

Updated November 16, 2017 40.6k views10 items

Don't let their beauty or fact that they have a baseball team named after them deter you from thinking blue jay birds aren't a bunch of airborne jerks. They may be protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, but sometimes it seems other birds are the ones who need protection from mean blue jays. Dive bombing, stealing food, and even eating their victims babies are just a few of the intimidation tactics from the spooky smart blue jays.

Blue jays can be found east of the Rocky Mountains throughout North America and have commonly been spotted living near cities. They are related to crows and ravens and other genius corvid birds who have amazing intelligence and abilities. Blue jays may not hold court like crows, but they can mimic the cries of hawks, use tools, and work together in groups. If you've ever witnessed a blue jay going after another bird or even a human, you may have wondered "why are blue jays aggressive?" Here's a look at what's up with these blue jay jerks.

  • They're Crafty Enough To Collect Acorns And Nuts And Store Them In The Ground For Later

    Video: YouTube

    Blue jays have something called a gular pouch inside their throat, which they use to carry food around. They are able to carry up to five acorns this way, storing two or three in the pouch, one in their bill, and another in their mouth. If you've ever spotted a blue jay stuffing their face like a squirrel, it wasn't just because they're a greedy eater. The food they collect and don't immediately eat gets stored for later, most often in the ground. In fact, the blue jay is said to be largely responsible for helping oak trees flourish and spread after last glacial period after planting and forgetting about acorns across the country. So blue jays may be helpful in pollination, but they don't exactly help the small critters when it comes to swiping all of their food and hoarding it.

  • Those Who Don't Migrate In Winter Will Sometimes Form Tight Knit Groups With Clear Ranking Order

    Photo: Mike's Birds / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

    While blue jays are not anti-social creatures, they tend to flock together during winter months and form tight knit groups. Not all blue jays migrate to escape the cold, and for reasons not completely known to researchers, some birds will stay behind. They believe blue jays form such groups to create more opportunities to locate food as well as protect each other from predators. However, even while living in a group rather than a pair, blue jays will establish a social hierarchy in order to obtain food and eat without fighting over who gets to go first. Blue jays aren't here to make friends, they're here to win.

  • They’re Corvids Like Crows And Ravens So They Share Plenty Of Behaviors But Without The Charm

    Video: YouTube

    Ravens and crows are some of the smartest birds on Earth and blue jays just happen to be a member of the same family. All three birds are from the Corvid family which adapt easily to new situations and are very curious and inquisitive. Like crows and ravens, blue jays are able to mimic sounds they hear, use tools, and have been known to be omnivorous, consuming both plant life as well as eggs and insects. However, crows and ravens have been romanticized into an association with death while blue jays are often seen as beautiful or cute. When a crow acts like the Corvid they are, no one is alarmed. But when a blue jay is crafty and aggressive, it may come as a shock.

  • They’re Weirdly Identical; Professional Ornithologists Can’t Tell The Difference Between Two Blue Jays

    Photo: Mike's Birds / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

    Blue jays are distinct-looking in that they sport a bright blue tail and wing feathers with black and white bands, a circle of black feathers around the neck, and a crest of blue and gray feathers on top of their head. But while they certainly look different from other birds, they are hard to tell apart among their own kind. Both male and female blue jays have identical plumage, so the only way to tell the difference between the two is by watching their nesting and mating habits. But same sex birds are also difficult to tell apart and even professional ornithologists have trouble without seeing the birds close up. Forget evil identical twins, blue jays are an evil identical species.