Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)

Order: Passeriformes
Family: Corvidae
Genus: Cyanocitta
Species: cristata


This bird has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Albertville, Alabama
Cullman, Alabama
Tuskegee, Alabama
Vincent, Alabama
Marina, California
San Francisco, California
Denver, Colorado
Fowler, Colorado
Brookfield, Connecticut
Madison, Connecticut
North Haven, Connecticut
Dover, Delaware
Ellendale, Delaware
Bartow, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Fountain, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida (2 reports)
Lecanto, Florida
Melbourne, Florida
Miami, Florida
New Port Richey, Florida (2 reports)
Sarasota, Florida
Trenton, Florida
Winter Springs, Florida
Dallas, Georgia
Marietta, Georgia
Snellville, Georgia
Algonquin, Illinois
Cherry Valley, Illinois
Divernon, Illinois
Rock Falls, Illinois
Tinley Park, Illinois
Westchester, Illinois
Coatesville, Indiana
Corunna, Indiana
Memphis, Indiana
Des Moines, Iowa
Dubuque, Iowa
Hubbard, Iowa
Sioux Center, Iowa
Sioux City, Iowa
Yale, Iowa
Calvert City, Kentucky
Ewing, Kentucky
Hebron, Kentucky
Melbourne, Kentucky
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Clinton, Maryland
Delmar, Maryland
Frederick, Maryland
Linthicum Heights, Maryland
Oakland, Maryland
Halifax, Massachusetts
Beaverton, Michigan
Belleville, Michigan
Brooklyn, Michigan
Dearborn, Michigan (2 reports)
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Dowagiac, Michigan
Royal Oak, Michigan
Traverse City, Michigan
Ypsilanti, Michigan
Albertville, Minnesota
Britt, Minnesota
Grand Portage, Minnesota
Hamel, Minnesota
Le Center, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Golden, Mississippi
Maben, Mississippi
Marietta, Mississippi
Cole Camp, Missouri
Conway, Missouri
Joplin, Missouri
Marshfield, Missouri
Saint Louis, Missouri
Saint Robert, Missouri
Papillion, Nebraska
Beachwood, New Jersey
Blackwood, New Jersey
Denville, New Jersey
Hainesport, New Jersey
Marlton, New Jersey
Piscataway, New Jersey
Woodstown, New Jersey
Croton On Hudson, New York
Greenlawn, New York
Hamburg, New York
Himrod, New York
Pittsford, New York
Staten Island, New York
West Islip, New York
Yonkers, New York
Broadway, North Carolina
Concord, North Carolina
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Oxford, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Thomasville, North Carolina
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Belfield, North Dakota
Bucyrus, Ohio
Chillicothe, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Dayton, Ohio
Haskins, Ohio
Lebanon, Ohio
Mount Orab, Ohio
North Ridgeville, Ohio
Oak Harbor, Ohio
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Mill City, Oregon
Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Scottdale, Pennsylvania
Whitehall, Pennsylvania
Summerville, South Carolina
Colome, South Dakota
Yankton, South Dakota
Cosby, Tennessee
Crossville, Tennessee
Elizabethton, Tennessee
Finger, Tennessee
Summertown, Tennessee
Austin, Texas (2 reports)
Desoto, Texas
Euless, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas (2 reports)
Houston, Texas (2 reports)
Katy, Texas
Magnolia, Texas
Mc Kinney, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)
Spring, Texas (2 reports)
Weatherford, Texas
Essex Junction, Vermont
Alexandria, Virginia
Hurt, Virginia
Newport News, Virginia
Penhook, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia
Roanoke, Virginia
Sterling, Virginia
Walkerton, Virginia
Appleton, Wisconsin
Camp Douglas, Wisconsin
East Troy, Wisconsin
Tomah, Wisconsin
Show all

Members' Notes:


On Aug 13, 2018, ParkerOak from Oak Park, IL wrote:

Here in the Driftless area of west central Wisconsin we see blue jays a bit in the spring, rarely in the summer, and then all the time in the autumn. I believe they're in the same family as crows and they do have a reputation for preying on the young of many songbirds.
One thing escapes me entirely: the words to describe their call in the autumn. It's metallic, liquid, tinkling--something impossible to reproduce for a human, and a sound distinctly their own. They are large, handsome, strong with a unique vocalization.


On Feb 11, 2017, weRgroot from New Port Richey, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Blue Jays may be the cleanest birds I've ever seen. In my back yard they're always in pairs and one keeps watch from the fence while the other takes a bath. Then they switch. By the time they're through there will be little water left in the bird bath. They throw the water everywhere in an attempt to take a "shower". I love watching them and how they work together to secure a safe bath.


On Aug 11, 2015, MsSassyplants from Cosby, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:

I love Bluejays, but........... I can shed a little light on the mystery of why they are considered bullies and aggressive and why some smaller birds hate them and act aggressively towards them.

Bluejays are not particularly aggressive towards adult birds, but they WILL merrily raid nests and run off with nestlings. They eat them.


On Oct 20, 2014, Chillybean from (Zone 5a) wrote:

I used to think these "fellows" were bullies, but that is until the Red-bellied Woodpeckers made themselves at home. Really, the Jays make a lot of noise, but I have not seen them being overly aggressive. No more than any other bird. Even the little Juncos get more feisty than the blue beauties.

I was curious about the scientific name, and figured Cyanocitta has something to do with blue. "Cristata" means crested. Yep, that's our Blue Jay.


On Jan 16, 2013, soingolfer from Memphis, IN wrote:

I put a bird feeder out 5 months ago and the Blue Jays love the Black Sunflower Seeds. You can tell the other birds, except the Cardinal (our State Bird), bow down the Blue Jay. Beautiful animals. I'll try to post pictures.


On Aug 17, 2011, xiamenmom from Dallas, GA (Zone 7a) wrote:

The blue jays have been to my yard 2x, feeding off seeds on the ground. They are a little loud, but the only birds that have been pushy with are the mourning doves. Don't scare them off, but do make them stay out of their way. Worth the noise since they are so colorful.


On Jul 1, 2011, hydey6 from Corunna, IN wrote:

I recently started to put peanuts out to try and attract blue jays because I feed Finches and Cardinals. I have not found the Blue Jays to be aggressive at all...they simply fly in, take the peanuts and fly out, not bothering any other birds. The Finches aren't bothered by them, but the sparrows and Cardinals go after them trying to chase them away. I even have a lone Robin going after them. The Blue Jays show no aggression at all toward the other birds harrassing them. There has to be a reason the other birds are far I haven't seen it.


On May 18, 2010, ladybug63 from Ingersoll,
Canada wrote:

I live in Southern Ontario. The Jays stay here year round along with the Cardinals and Chickadees. They all share the feeders and although the Jays are loud I enjoy their clamor when they are being disturbed. They will come down and drink in the water fall of the pond.


On Apr 14, 2010, SteppinStone from San Francisco, CA wrote:

Western Scrub Jays are found in San Fancisco, California. They are a similar species to the Blue Jay. See this link:


According to the information in the above article, the Western Scrub Jay is the 'Blue Jay' of the dry Western lowlands.


On Apr 8, 2010, bungalow1056 from Winston-Salem, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Blue Jays are beautiful birds and are plentiful in central North Carolina. They are aggressive though. I was scarred as a kid when I saw one destroying the eggs out of another birds nest on my Mom's front porch. It's fun to watch them tussle with Cardinals here during the Spring mating season. I usually put my money on the Cardinal.


On Mar 2, 2010, JuneyBug from Dover AFB, DE (Zone 7a) wrote:

I have never found them to be bullies, but I have always had plenty for different sized feeders for the different birds. They mostly stay on the ground eating the cracked corn and sunflower that I scatter for them and the squirrels. They also like the bigger tray feeders since they are such big birds. You can make "friends" with them using peanuts and cat food. This is really helpful if you have snakes in your yard as they will alert you with loud raspy screeches when one is seen. They are also pretty good guards against the hawks, chasing them away when they come to the feeders to hunt.


On Jan 7, 2010, plantladylin from (Zone 1) wrote:

The Blue Jay is a very common backyard bird in my area, seen frequently at our feeders and nesting in nearby trees. They do have a loud, distinctive call but not so loud as to be offensive. Some people consider Jay's to be bullies but there are so many feeders in my neighborhood that we often see them feeding alongside other birds without any bickering. It is fun to watch though when they do want the feeders to themselves ... they will mimic the call of hawks to scare the other birds into hiding, giving them free reign at the feeders!


On Apr 16, 2009, barbsalim from Miami, FL wrote:

I have a blue jay that every morning comes to my back door steps and takes dry food from my cat's bowl. He carries it over to the water bowl & dunks it before he eats.


On Feb 3, 2009, DebinSC from Georgetown, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

For those trying to I.D. this bird by it's call, the sound is like a "rusty gate hinge". One of the easiest calls to recognize if you keep that in mind.


On Jan 21, 2009, furlane from Papillion, NE wrote:

My children have gotten the biggest kick out of watching these guys pick peanuts off the deck rail. One hot shot kept trying to fly away with two peanuts still in shells. Never worked. The kids decided to see how bright this guy was and put a couple of empty shells on the rail. This guy would walk down the rail checking for the heavy ones before flying off. The three of them spent hours on this game.


On Jan 8, 2009, wormfood from Lecanto, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

When these birds are screaming their heads off it's because a threat is near. A pack of bluejays will chase a hawk right out of a tree and down the block.


On Jan 1, 2009, DMgardener from (Daniel) Mount Orab, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

This bird adores Sunflower Seeds. I save enough seeds for me from the heads and leave the remander on the grass and the Blue Jays will have a party with them! This is the 2nd. bluest bird in SW Ohio. (After the Indigo Bunting)


On Dec 29, 2008, dahlianut from Calgary, AB (Zone 3a) wrote:

The Northern Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata bromia) nests in my neighbourhood. It is the largest subspecies and a duller blue that the others. Although they are loud, they are non-agressive in my garden so are tolerated by the nesting robins whereas other larger birds are driven out. Having separate feeders for the smaller birds keeps everyone happy!


On Dec 28, 2008, nanny_56 from Putnam County, IN (Zone 5b) wrote:

We also do not find our jays to be aggressive or bullies. They will even sit in the maple tree and take turns coming down to the platform to get nuts.

We have observed some that will imitate Red-tail Hawks to scare or keep away other small birds while they eat. I can't imagine a day without Blue Jays!


On Dec 27, 2008, Mrs_Ed from Whiteside County, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

Some say these birds are bullies, but I haven't found that so in my yard. They are large and loud though! Put whole peanuts out for them and let the fun begin.