Although they have a bit of a reputation for being badass, blue jays are one of my favorites as back yard birds go. If their striking masked appearances does not get your attention, their calls will. I enjoy the tonal quality and diversity of their vocalizations which includes (among other sounds) clear bell-like notes, whistles, and rattles. Blue jays are also known to mimic others birds (e.g., hawks) and use calls to attract and communicate with mates, as well as to coax and coach young of the year to fly and self-feed. In addition to visual and auditory beauty, I appreciate their intelligence and resourcefulness. Blue jays have been documented stashing thousands of acorns during autumn months. I once watched a single jay empty a feeder I had packed full of peanuts in the shell over the course of an afternoon, tucking them in cracks and crevices of neighborhood trees and other secret places for later consumption.
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