Blue jays have a bold blue coloration on the tail, wings, back and head. There is a prominent blue crest and white face and bold white markings on the wings. The chest and belly is dull gray. A black "necklace" stretches across the neck. The tail is long with white corners and fine black bars running across it. Blue jays are sometimes confused with the eastern bluebird. Bluebirds are smaller, have a shorter tail, and lack a crest. Bluebirds also have a reddish-orange chest.
10-12 inches long. 13-17 inch wingspan.
Blue jays are found in all forest types, especially oak, hickory and pine forests. They are common in urban and residential areas, especially those with mature trees. They can be found almost statewide but are rare in the western half of the Panhandle.
At feeders blue jays eat black-oil sunflower seeds, peanuts, nuts, corn, suet and miracle meal. Away from feeders they eat insects, acorns and large seeds. These birds often open seeds by holding them in place with their feet and hammering the shell open with their bill. Birds will take several seeds from a feeder at one time and “cache” or store them throughout the neighborhood.