Country Birder... and Butterflies 

Blue Jay
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People seem to have mixed reception to Blue Jays.  Some welcome them to the feeders, enjoying their striking coloration and beauty.  Others find them a nuisance, often because of a concern that they chase off desirable songbirds and have a reputation of killing other species' nestlings and destroying eggs.  I don't have knowledge of studies confirming or denying the reputation that they kill young chicks and destroy unguarded eggs.  But I do know that I have yet to observe a Blue Jay driving off other birds.  They rarely come near the bird feeders where other species are already present.  Instead, the Jays I observe stay well out on the fringes of the yard and feed from the seed that I sprinkle around an old tree stump and are quick to fly off when other birds approach.  What I have read about them in online field guides is that they are capable of mimicking a hawk's cry and will give that cry in warning of danger, which benefits all species of bird in the vicinity who are sensible enough to flee from a hawk.
Central Indiana - June 18, 2008
There is no difference in plumage or coloration between male and female Blue Jays, and plumage stays consistent throughout the year.  Indiana is a year-'round range for Blue Jays.
Central Indiana - June 22, 2008
For as loud as they are and large as they are, the Blue Jays seem incredibly shy.  This Jay investigated a new hopper/platform feeder combination my husband installed for me recently.  So far, the House Sparrows are the dominant visitors but with luck, this Jay will come back with reinforcements.
Central Indiana - November 10, 2008

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