Blue Jays in Indiana | The Nature Conservancy

Journey with Nature

Unruly backyard behavior has given the beautiful Blue Jay its bad reputation. kids to an amazing new place. It's called OUTSIDE! Time spent outside with nature goes a long way toward creating a happy, healthy childhood. So we're giving kids a place they can call their own. Literally

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The Blue Jay is hard to miss against the backdrop of snowy branches or surrounded by lush green leaves. With its various hues of brilliant blue feathers , how could it not stand out? The bird's other distinguishing characteristics include wings barred in black, blue and white; black eyes, bill and three-toed limbs; and a black necklace around its neck towards the tips of its crested head.

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What's amazing about the coloration of Blue Jay is that really not blue. Like other blue birds, its coloring is not derived from pigments, but by structural coloration - or the result of light refraction due to the internal structure of the feathers. This can be proved by crushing a feather; once destroyed the blue disappears.

Though very beautiful, Blue Jays are rarely favorites among birders and homeowners. In fact, this bird has developed a bad reputation - one that may not be deserved.

Not Necessarily a "Bad Egg"

This is not to say that Blue Jays are not aggressive. They are incredibly protective over their young and are willing to attack large predators - including humans - when intimidated by their presences. What is even more interesting is how a gang of jays will cooperatively attack or mob an intruder in order to protect their offspring. Unfortunately many people will still regard Blue Jays as nest robbers instead of the intelligent birds that are .

Learn about the Children of Indiana Nature Park, and be inspired to start your own journey with nature!