In Ontario, Blue Jays are a dime a dozen and fill the niche of their Canada Jay cousins as camp robbers. They steal food from picnic tables, sometimes while you’re still eating it.
Here, not so much. Blue Jays are relatively rare. However, they are clearly expanding their range westward. They are now almost common in the Bow Valley, which they were not even 10 years ago. They started being seen a few summers ago in Kananaskis Village, and can now be found in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. There are even reports of them in the Radium area.
It should not come as a surprise that Blue Jays are expanding their range. They are a member of the Corvid family like Crows and Ravens, and so are mighty smart birds. Blue Jays are very tolerant of people and seem to like hanging around them. They follow us wherever we go (especially wherever we’ll feed them).
Alike, but allegedly distinct
Young Blue Jays are… ungainly. The crested heads are the last feathers to fill in. Until they do, they look “bald”, as seen to the right. Though all Blue Jays start off looking alike, if you look closely, individuals allegedly can be differentiated by the pattern on their heads. However, all of the birds pictured here look the same to us, even though they can’t be. Maybe we’re just not observant enough.
They are happy to steal your picnic or eat peanuts or sunflower seeds from your bird feeder. However, they are normally ground feeders going after seeds, berries, eggs, baby birds, insects and carrion. They are normally loud with a whole variety of screams and nasal calls. Blue Jays often get into fights with Magpies over food sources, but seem to coexist with Canada Jays just fine. They don’t migrate, and we find they are much more commonly seen in the winter.
Meet more of the critters of K-Country here!