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Woodcroft Wildspace

Woodcroft

London     

N21 3QP

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JAY

Jay (Garrulus glandarius) a.k.a. Eurasian jay

Jays are members of the crow family. They are mostly a pinkish brown on the back, the underparts being slightly paler. They have a black and white flecked crown on the head, and a black 'moustache' and white throat. The rump is white and the tail black. The iris of the eye is a pale blue. It has a black beak and pinky-brown legs. The wings are mostly black with white and blue patches. The adult jay reaches 34-35 cm in length and has a 52-58 cm wingspan. Mature adults weigh 140-190g.

Jays are woodland birds, rarely moving far from cover so they can be hard to see. They like broad-leaved and coniferous woodland with adequate cover. Oak, beech and hornbeam trees are favourites, and smaller thicket and spinney may be used, and it has moved into suburban areas where there are mature trees, such as graveyards, parkland and gardens. They can be seen all year round but are more obvious in autumn when they search for nuts.

Jays eat nuts, acorns, seeds and insects. They are famous for their acorn feeding habits and in the autumn they may be seen burying acorns for retrieving later in the winter.

The cry is a harsh, screeching call.

5-7 eggs are laid, hatching in 16-17 days. Fledging takes place 21-22 days.

Jays can live up to 17 years.

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