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Blue Jays my photos, my words

Blue Jays, for lack of a better description, are the bad boys of the bird community. They are noisy and bold, they can be aggressive and they tend to travel in groups — kind of like a blue-clad bird street gang.

They are fun to watch but difficult to photograph. They tend to leave quickly when I point my camera their way.

But I’ve been fortunate to capture a few images of Blue Jays in local parks and forests over the years. Some of the photos show a bit of the Blue Jay’s personality and occasionally regal behavior. And some are included in my featured gallery for November.

A Blue Jay strikes a regal pose in in Blendon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.

Note that Blue Jays are year-round residents of Central Ohio, so the images in the gallery include photos from all four seasons. A number of the photos, especially the close-ups, were taken during the winter when I sometimes use a shed in Blendon Woods Metro Park near Columbus, Ohio, as a blind to photograph birds as they wait to visit a nearby feeder.

Blue Jay pulling bark on winter morning, Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.

Some of these photos show a Blue Jay with its crest raised. Others show the crest held down. The crest position can be used by Blue Jays for communicating. When around a mate, family or other jays in a flock, the crest is often held down, indicating a low aggression level. The higher the crest, the higher the aggression level. The crest is almost always up when the bird calls or squawks.

A Blue Jay displays an acorn found in a field in Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.

Blue Jays also have a wide variety of vocalizations or calls, and they are known to mimic other birds — most commonly Red-tailed and Red-shouldered Hawks. I often hear the hawk call when a Blue Jay is approaching a crowded feeder in the winter. The call deceives other birds into scattering, providing the jay with open access to the feeder.

I add a new featured gallery the first of each month. The numbers in the gallery title represent the month and year it was featured. Last month’s featured gallery, with photos of fall colors, has been moved to my featured gallery archives.

Blue Jay with food ready to take off, Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.
A Blue Jay strikes a regal pose in in Blendon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.
Blue Jay pulling bark on winter morning, Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.
A Blue Jay displays an acorn found in a field in Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.
A close look at a Blue Jay on a snowy morning in Blendon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.
A Blue Jay eats a seed behind plant stems in Blendon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.
Blue Jays gather on a limb in Greenlawn Cemetery, Columbus, Ohio.
A Blue Jay glances over its shoulder in Blendon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.
A Blue Jay perches on a limb in Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.
A Blue Jay rests on an angled branch in Blendon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.
A Blue Jay rests on a branch in Blendon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.
A Blue Jay visits a feeder in Blendon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.
A Blue Jay perches on a winter morning in Blendon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.
A Blue Jay ruffles its feathers to keep warm on a winter morning in Blendon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.
A Blue Jay perches on a branch in Blendon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.
A Blue Jay perches on a limb above the snow in Blendon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.
A Blue Jay perches against a snowy background in Blendon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.
A Blue Jay carries twigs for its nest in Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.
A Blue Jay perches against a winter background in Blendon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.
A Blue Jay faces the morning sun in Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.
A Blue Jay is isolated against a blue sky in Slate Run Metro Park, Canal Winchester, Ohio.
Blue Jay perched on a feeder, Blendon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.
A Blue Jay looks for food on the ground in Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.
A Blue Jay perches in a tree in Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.
Snow falls around a cold Blue Jay in Blendon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.
A Blue Jay perches on a snowy log in Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.
A Blue Jay perches on a limb on a winter morning in Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.
A Blue Jay perches against a blue sky in Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio.
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Created By
Pat Hemlepp
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All photos and text © Copyright - Pat D. Hemlepp. All rights reserved.

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