Several backyard bird feeders are used to seeing Blue Jays. From the Atlantic coast of the United States to the Rocky Mountains, they have a wide range of habitat. Their bold personalities, knowledge, varied vocalizations, and of course, stunning pigmentation have all made them famous. Nevertheless, in terms of shape, demeanor, and coloring, many birds across the nation resemble the Blue Jay. We’ll provide a quick refresher on the Blue Jay in this article, followed by ten birds that are similar to the Blue Jay.
10 BIRDS SIMILAR TO BLUE JAYS
First, let’s take a quick look at the Blue Jay
The Blue Jay is a colorful bird that can be seen all year in the eastern United States, but only visits some areas of the west during the winter. With a crest on their head and a long, thin tail, they have a long, slender shape. They have a white chest and belly with blue heads, backs, and tails.
Like a necklace, a black stripe encircles their neck. Some of their blue feathers appear iridescent, and the feathers on their wings and tail have black striping with white spots. The Blue Jays are a confident and vociferous species that can mimic noises they hear and alert others of threat. They like peanuts, huge nuts, and suet, and they frequent neighborhood feeders and eat practically anything.
Now let’s look at some similar birds.
1. FLORIDA SCRUB-JAY
The Florida scrub-jay, the only bird species that can be found entirely in Florida, dwells in areas of low-growing scrub oak. The breast, belly, and back of this Jay are white or light gray, while the head, wings, and tail are blue. They have a very flat head with no crest. The ground is frequently hopping with Florida Scrub-Jays. They bury acorns and insects in order to preserve them. The Blue Jay and Florida Scrub-Jay are physically comparable, although the Blue Jay is somewhat bigger in certain circumstances.
2. STELLER’S JAY
The western United States has a giant and magnificent jay called Steller’s Jay. The neck and head are a dark charcoal gray, and they are a deep, almost navy blue color. Because of their resemblance to a blue jay, they have a virtually identical profile.
The Steller’s Jay is the only other jay in North America with a crest on top of its head, save from the Blue Jay. In forested mountain areas, campgrounds, parks, and backyards, Steller’s Jays are common. In the winter, they move to lower altitudes where they breed at high elevations.
They have a broad range of imitations, including cats, squirrels, other birds, and machines, and like their Blue Jay cousins are skilled at mimicking noises. Peanuts, large nuts, and suet will entice them to your feeder.
3. WOODHOUSE’S SCRUB-JAY
From Nevada to Mexico, Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay habitat is found. To reach the pine nuts inside of pine cones, they specialize in the pinyon pine habitat and have developed somewhat long and thin bills. Depending on the light, Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay can appear gray-blue or brilliant blue. The underbelly is white or gray, and the forehead and breast have little white specks.
Scrub-Jays are easily identifiable due to the lack of a crest like Blue Jays. They’re loud and aggressive, like other jays do. You may believe they resemble the California Scrub-Jay, the next bird, and you would be correct. They were thought to be one species until recently, when they were divided into two in 2016.
4. CALIFORNIA SCRUB-JAY
The Pacific Coast’s “blue jay” is the California Scrub-Jay. From Washington to Mexico, they have a dry shrubland habitat, oak woodlands, and backyards. The head crest of California Scrub- Jays is missing, unlike Blue Jays. They have a white underbelly and are blue, gray-brown in color.
The Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay is similar to the California Scrub-Jay, but it has brighter colors. Their range may overlap with the Steller’s Jay in certain regions, but their crest-less head and lighter blue color distinguish them from each other. These jays have been documented to pick off ticks and parasites while standing on the backs of deer.
5. MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD
The Mountain Bluebird, a small migratory thrush that lives in tree and shrub areas, is found in the Rocky Mountains. They spend the winter in Mexico and Western Canada. Mountain Bluebirds have a vivid, bright color. The heads are entirely blue, and the underparts are light blue and white.
The female Mountain Bluebird is significantly duller in color, with just traces of pale blue, than jays where both sexes look the same.
Although the male Mountain Bluebird’s brilliant blue color may lead you to believe they are Jays, they are very different in size and appearance. Unlike the Blue Jay, bluebirds don’t have a crest on their head. As well as being shorter and having a more rounded body, they are smaller.
6. INDIGO BUNTING
The Canada Jay is found in Canada and Alaska, as well as the Rocky Mountain area of the United States, and was once known as the Gray Jay. Higher elevations are home to Canada Jays, who nest and feed on insects.
Saliva will be used to attach food items to branches, allowing them to be consumed later. Their coloring is very different than the Blue Jay, who belongs to the same jay family as him with a similar shape and long tail. They have a white head and around their neck, as well as gray. The head crest seen on Blue Jays is not worn by Canadian Jays.
8. PINYON JAY
In shrub wooded regions of pinyon-juniper and chaparral, the Pinyon Jay is a crestless jay. They fly in large groups that forage together. They store thousands of pinyon pine seeds in caches and feed almost exclusively on them.
The head and wingtips of this Jay are solid light blue. While they may be seen outside of their normal range during years when the pinyon trees don’t produce as many seeds, Pinyon Jays are found in the western desert area of the United States. Because their territory does not overlap with the Blue Jay’s, they are unlikely to be seen together.
9. MEXICAN JAY
With a light gray-blue color and lighter underside, the Mexican Jay looks similar to other Scrub- Jays. It does, however, lack a blue necklace and has a smaller black bill. These birds may be found in the pine-oak-juniper woodlands of the southwestern United States, from Mexico to Texas.
They may be found in flocks of up to 25 individuals. Pinyon Jays, Steller’s Jay, and Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay are all commonly found in the same habitat as Mexican Jays. They consume and store the same seeds, as well as pine nuts. The Mexican Jay, like other Jays, hoards nuts and seeds for later consumption. When foraging, they’ll stuff their craws with food.
10. GREEN JAY
The appearance of Green Jays is substantially different from Blue Jays, similar to their shape, behavior, and eating habits. Rather of blue, they use bright green as their dominant hue. The head and face of a Green Jay are blue, and the throat is dark black. In contrast to the Blue Jay, the Green Jay lacks a head crest. Instead of being sleek, they have a dark-colored beak and are more streamlined birds.
Just like their Blue Jay cousins, Green Jays are bright. To discover food, they smash bark off trees with sticks and other equipment. You’re unlikely to encounter a Green Jay in the United States, except for near the southern tip of Texas, where they are primarily found on Mexico’s Gulf coast.