Nests & Eggs: Blue Jay

Plate 43: Blue Jay

Cyanocitta cristata

Dashing and impudent, this brilliant blue bird of the crow family is hard to miss.

You may admire him greatly or hate him intensely. It depends on what he is doing when you form your opinion. A flock of these blue and white birds with large crests and black chin-straps, add color and cheer as they pass thru the timber. They often are conversing in a series of soft musical tones which are pleasing to the ear when all is serene. Moments later they discover a sleeping owl, cat or snake and the flock changes into a group of loud-mouthed bullies. Such is the way of a Blue Jay.

During the nesting season, this bird which is larger than a Robin, shows the darker side of his character, for then he destroys the homes of many nesting birds, eating both eggs and young of the smaller species. You can hate him and all of his kin for such habits, but this is nature and nature is never mild. Later you will find him hiding pecans, acorns or sunflower seeds under leaves, sticks or moss. Then you will learn that he does a lot of good, for many of these seeds are never eaten but grow into new trees or bushes. It is just as natural for Blue Jays to hide these acorns as it is for squirrels to do the same thing. His alarm notes often save animals and birds for they have learned to heed his warning call.

Introduction to Our Bird Friends, Vol. 1
  • Print out the notebooking pages provided below.
  • Read the blue jay story in Bird Biographies out loud.
  • Have a younger student orally narrate what was read. He can then copy a few lines of his narration onto the notebooking pages.
  • Older students can read the text, Plate XLIII: Blue Jay, and provide a written narration.
  • Sketch the bird. This encourages attention to detail, which will aid in identifying the bird later on. Another option is to use the printables provided below.
  • Sketch the nest of the bird, along with the eggs. Note where the nest is usually found.
  • Older students can include the taxonomy.
  • Learn more about the blue jay at Cornell.
  • On one notebooking page note the facts:
    • Description.
    • Habitat.
    • Range.
    • Food.
    • Nest.
    • Eggs.
    • Call.
  • The blue jay is covered in The Burgess Bird Book: CHAPTER XVII. More Robbers.

Additional Resources

30 Narration Ideas
At some point you might appreciate some variety.

The Bird Study sections of our free nature study series: Our Wonderful World:

Free Nature Studies: Our Wonderful World
Printables & Notebooking Pages

Blue Jay Notebooking Pages
Free simple notebooking set.

Blue Jay
Bird picture for notebook.

Sammy Jay
Corresponding print from The Burgess Bird Book.

Fifty Favorite Birds Coloring Book

Fifty Favorite Birds Coloring Book
Dover Nature Coloring Book based on Fifty Birds of Town and City by Bob Hines. Includes the blue jay.

Blue Jay Range Map
For notebook from Cornell.

Bird Facts Notebooking Page
One option in a more graphic organizer style that is especially nice for noting the facts and range.

Enjoy the entire series:
Nest & Eggs ~ Intro & Free eBook
Free Bird Studies: Nests & Eggs ~ Complete Series

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