The blue jay or blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata) is a species of passerine bird of the family of the corvids and is one of the two species of birds of the genus Cyanocitta, the other is Steller’s jay. This jay is distributed in a large part of North America.
As its name says, it is a blue bird, with the white color on its chest and some parts of its wings. On the face it has a black “mask” and on the neck a kind of black collar. Its beak is black.
Something that is very noticeable in this bird is its pronounced crest. You can change position according to the mood of the jay.
When it is angry or excited the crest rises completely, when they get scared the crest goes in the direction out and when it is eating with other birds or resting the crest flattens in the head.
Blue Jay – Spirit Animal
The Blue Jay is a widespread bird in North America, to be precise in the central United States up to the south of Canada. For this reason, it is very present in Native American symbolism.
It represents the union between Heaven and Earth, as its plumage interspersed with blue and black colors, respectively evocative of Urania and Gea, reminds us of the dual aspects of the Goddess as Goddess of Death and Life.
Returning to Europe, on the other hand, we have another species of Jay, although the symbolism does not differ too much from the Native American one. The blue withdraws and concentrates everything close to the scapulars, on the wings. A black whisker is drawn under the eye while a white rump is highlighted in flight, making it immediately recognizable to the watchful eye.
Certainly less charming than its relatives Azzurra, the jay surely surprises for the gracefulness with which it is used to move between branches and soil (a real dancer who jumps weightless) and for her behavior.
Bold, the jay does not fear aggressors, trying to drive away any threat with its cries and continuous flights around the predator to discourage it, in the typical attitude of birds called mobbing. Her clumsy voice that over the years has earned her the role of messenger of misfortune (nothing more wrong, as we will see later), warns the other species of the immediate danger, allowing rapid escape.
This characteristic, combined with the aspects we found in the Blue jay, reminds us not to give in to fear and discouragement during our search for the truth, facing the enemies that appear on the path. Be careful, though: not with unconsciousness but without fear of asking for help if we cannot defeat them alone.
His foresight is not only in assessing opponents. The Jay is also provident. It hides acorns and walnuts of which it is greedy in the undergrowth, in the bark of trees or in other crevices, so as to have a sure winter supply, coming to hide in hundreds and recovering them without memory being deceived.
In Europe the jay is above all considered as an emblem of Wisdom. It is not by chance that we often find it as a messenger and wise guide in many myths and fairy tales, one of all Brother of Joy and Sister of Pleasure, one of the many versions that we know best with the title of Sleeping Beauty:
The jay went everywhere to do and to say all that was asked of her; she knew all the herbs and their virtues and brought messages, greetings and novels better than any messenger, and knew every language.
Blue Jay – Totem
As a totemic animal, therefore, it moves between the two worlds, physical and spiritual, but both approach with tenacity and have within it all the potential to deepen them and get to know them thoroughly.
A potential that, however, as such, is up to know how to use it to those who have the Blue jay as a totemic animal. In fact, it does not promise successes (nor does it attract misfortunes). This is because “whoever has a jay as a totem usually has enormous abilities, but they can disperse or develop more than is necessary to get by; it is not unusual to find individuals who become time-wasting, especially in the psychic and metaphysical fields. They know little about much things (…)”.
But at this point, the jay is still helpful in its crest which, as a crown that tends upwards, reminds us of the dedication and commitment due to arrive at a true upper level in our path, be it physical or spiritual. An interesting aspect is the intense blue color of this crest, a blue that is harmony, calm and the ability to find balance.
The blue of the jay against the blue of the sky, has the value of a double vision that leads to a pure and crystalline clarity. Blue against blue does not betray with other colors. It is clear. Therefore the jay is faithful and has the strength of the truth that does not fear to hurt in order to arrive at it’s unveiling.
When we dream of a jay, it is our deep self that materializes to put ourselves in front of ourselves without masks. It warns us if we were not honest with ourselves, it suggests to us that the right time has come to act and confess our thoughts, our actions to be able to then continue in the right completion of each project if we were stuck.
As for the first aspect, the loquacity associated with it is not out of place; it is not frivolous or lacking in content, but represents the tendency to express oneself without difficulty and with pleasure in front of the one who interrogates, repaying him in sincerity and curiosity.
Blue Jay – Symbolism
The jay, or Garrulus glandarius, is a medium-sized bird from the Corvidae family. It owes its name to its habit of nutritive essentially of acorns. It measures on average 34-35 centimeters with a wingspan of about 53 and a total weight of 170 grams. It is characterized by the light brown base plumage on which the black wings with evident blue and white spots, the black tail and the white back are highlighted.
On the head there are long black and white erectile feathers. The beak is black, short and hooked at the tip. The legs are light brown. In flight it is recognizable thanks to the white belly and the square and black tail. The color of the eyes is blue.
There is no sexual dimorphism between the two sexes, but the male and the female are almost identical. Currently two subspecies are known: the Garrulus cervicalis typical of Tunisia and Algeria and the Garrulus atricapillus which lives in the Crimea, Turkey and Tunisia.
The jay is a bird native to Europe, Africa and Asia, where it can also be found in Japan and China. In Italy it is present in all regions and can be both stationary and in step. Its natural habitat consists essentially of evergreen or coppice forests. However, it is not uncommon to find it even in gardens and public parks. Its favorite habitats are beech forests, chestnut woods and oak forests.
However, it is a very adaptable species and over time has managed to adapt to the most varied habitats. However, it hardly leaves the woods for the plains and the open expanses. He spends most of his day among the branches of trees, hidden among the leaves of oak or conifers where he can easily get his favorite food: acorns. Hardly launches on open land for fear of possible predators. It does not like harsh climates and areas with little vegetation.
The marine jay is a migratory bird that spends the summer months in central and southern Europe and in southern Asia up to India and then migrates, in winter, towards the coasts of the Gulf of Guinea and the regions of southeastern Africa.
In Europe it prefers wooded areas with large clearings and wooded areas contiguous to intensive cultivation, while in Africa it frequents savannas and lowland woods. In Italy it nests in the peninsular areas and in Sardinia.
It is a medium-large sized bird with a massive body, with a wingspan of 52-58 centimeters. The plumage of the chest, belly and head is blue-turquoise, that of the back is light brown. The long, pointed wings are blue with black edges.
The tail, slightly forked, is greenish-blue with black tips. It feeds on insects that catch in flight, especially beetles and beetles, which easily shatters thanks to the strength of its beak, but also of small reptiles, rodents and frogs.
In spring, immediately after returning to Europe, the male tries to attract the attention of the females with extraordinary aerial evolutions that highlight the beauty of its colors. Generally it builds the nest in the hollow of a tree; the female lays 4 to 5 eggs, which hatch both parents.
Blue Jay – Meaning
It has a length of 22-30 cm (9-12 inches), a weight of 70-100 g (2.5 to 3.5 oz.) and a wingspan of 34-43 cm (13-17 inches). There is no notorious sexual dimorphism, the only difference is that the male is larger than the female.
As in other bluish birds, the coloration of the blue jay does not derive from pigments, but is the result of the refraction of light due to the internal structure of the feathers; if one of the feathers is crushed, the blue coloration disappears, because the structure has been destroyed. This is called structural coloration.
The song is similar to that of other corvids in that it is very varied, but the most common sound is the alarm voice, which is a noisy scream, almost like that of a seagull. They also emit a sharp yaie-yaie, whose frequency increases as the bird gets more excited.
When the blue jays find one of their dead they call each other and stop the foraging activities. Scientists have discovered that jays congregate around the body of the deceased. That behavior could have been developed to warn other birds that there is a danger in the vicinity, according to the findings of researchers in California, USA, which have been published in the journal Animal Behavior (Animal Behavior).
Spreading the message that a dead bird is in the area helps safeguard other birds, warning them of the danger and reducing the risk of exposure to whatever killed the bird, the researchers say. Since it is a bird that flies slowly, several aerial predators take advantage to capture them. Eggs and chicks are preyed upon by squirrels, snakes, cats, ravens, raccoons and opossums.
The jay is widely distributed throughout Europe and Asia. It prefers temperate regions and is found above all in wooded areas with dense foliage and near human settlements. In their habitat the oaks and conifers must not be missing: the first ones provide the bird with the acorns it is fond of and the second ones offer the best nesting places.
Only the northern populations migrate, while the others are permanent. The plumage of Garrulus glandarius is predominantly light brown-reddish and the wings have bright blue spots crossed by black bands. With an average weight of 170 g, the jay is about 34 cm long and has a wingspan of 50-60 cm.
Jays are mainly arboreal birds that come down to the ground just to look for food. Being omnivorous and opportunistic birds, they eat any type of food although the acorns constitute the main slice of their diet. These are collected in large numbers during the autumn and buried to serve as a reserve for the rest of the year. A bird can hide up to 11 thousand acorns, which it finds using its incredible memory.
Like other corvids, the jay has a complex social behavior. The couple reproduces once a year, in spring, and is monogamous for life. Both parents build the nest in the bushes or trees and the task of hatching the eggs, usually 4 or 5, disappear for 2-3 weeks. The fledging occurs 20-23 days after hatching but the juveniles become independent only after 2 months of life and reach reproductive age at 2 years.
The oldest specimen ever recorded was observed in Britain and was almost 17 years old. The main predators for a jay are the domestic cat (Felis catus), the birds of prey and the mustelids. A characteristic of the jay is the ability to accurately mimic the sounds heard, such as the crying of children and the direction of passerines.