Saturday, June 8, 2013

J is for JAY

I was scratching my head wondering if I could find a bird for the J spot and then remembered hearing of the Jay so here goes:

Jays are several species of medium-sized, usually colourful and noisy, passerine birds in the crow family Corvidae.  The names jay and magpie are somewhat interchangeable, and the evolutionary relationships are rather complex.  For example, the Eurasian magpie seems more closely related to the Eurasian Jay than to the Oriental blue and green magpies, where the blue jay is not closely related to either  (I hope that makes sense as they are birds I know nothing about...more reading needed here).  The bird in this picture is the Eurasian jay after which all jays have been named.

These are birds I am not familiar with nor have I been able to find much general information so instead of writing about feeding and breeding etc., I will leave you with some lovely pictures I've found of various types of jay.  (My other reason is I'm tired but wanted to post something today!!).

The word "jay" has an archaic meaning in American slang meaning a person who chatters impertinently.

The term 'jaywalking' was coined in 1915 to label persons crossing a busy street carelessly and becoming a traffic hazard.  The term began to imply recklessness or impertinent behavious as the convention became established ("jay-walker" Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.)


  1. Now there are some very different looking 'jays'. We have the blue jays and the grey jay here in Ontario. I believe the grey jays are sometimes called whiskeyjacks. I have no idea why. My dad used to tell of a fellow he knew in a logging camp who would put peanuts in his ear and a jay would light on his shoulder and pick them out. ick!

    1. Ick! indeed but horses for courses I guess. lol
      It was interesting to find birds of which I knew little but strange there was very little real information but perhaps I just wasn't looking hard enough yesterday.
      Whiskeyjacks would indeed have one wondering why they were called that. I must see if I can find out and will let you know if I do find anything.

  2. Lovely looking birds. I didn't know that magpies and jays were related. And I was fascinated to learn that our magpie is different to the UK magpie - and to the North American ones too. Always something new to learn.
    I hope you are less tired today. Take care of yourself.

  3. As I said to Delores (above) I found out more than I previously knew about the relationships of these birds to each other. I think I did know our maggies are different to the northern hemisphere ones but this confirmed it.
    Thanks for your good wishes. I am just tired as my stupid back is being such a pain of late and the sheer effort of walking is tiring. It's just one of those things one has to put up with and Panadol Osteo really is more a placebo than a true pain killer unfortunately. I'm not complaining.....just saying. : )

  4. This puts me in mind of the bluejay that perched on a window ledge outside Sheldon Cooper's apartment and nearly drove him crazy.

  5. There was a scene in West Wing where a bird was tapping on the window and they kept saying 'Stop it" but didn't shoo the bird away. It was quite hilarious.