Blue Jay at the Backyard Bird Feeder
WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY – NORTH MIAMI, FL
This wildlife photograph is of a Blue Jay at the birdfeeder in my backyard in North Miami, Florida. Camera gear used in this backyard photo of a Blue Jay was a Nikon D90 attached to a Tamron 28-300mm lens. This particular Blue Jay was gorging itself on seed and was in the process of spitting some out that I caught this shot.
This common, large songbird is familiar to many people, with its perky crest; blue, white, and black plumage; and noisy calls. Blue Jays are known for their intelligence and complex social systems with tight family bonds. Their fondness for acorns is credited with helping spread oak trees after the last glacial period.
The Blue Jay measures 22–30 cm (9–12 in) from bill to tail and weighs 70–100 g (2.5–3.5 oz), with a wingspan of 34–43 cm (13–17 in). There is a pronounced crest on the head, a crown of feathers, which may be raised or lowered according to the bird’s mood. When excited or aggressive, the crest may be fully raised. When frightened, the crest bristles outwards, brush like. When the bird is feeding among other jays or resting, the crest is flattened to the head.
Its plumage is lavender-blue to mid-blue in the crest, back, wings, and tail, and its face is white. The underside is off-white and the neck is collared with black which extends to the sides of the head. The wing primaries and tail are strongly barred with black, sky-blue and white. The bill, legs, and eyes are all black. Males and females are nearly identical.
As with most other blue-hued birds, the Blue Jay’s coloration is not derived from pigments but is the result of light interference due to the internal structure of the feathers;if a blue feather is crushed, the blue disappears as the structure is destroyed.This is referred to as structural coloration.