The Jay is the most colourful member of the Crow family and can be found in woodlands throughout the country. The Jay is also known as the ‘screamer of the wood’ because it can be so loud. Although the Jay is loud, it is actually quite a secretive bird. It likes to live in large mature oak trees because these trees provide good cover for the Jay as well as lots of acorns.
The Jay can easily be recognised by its bright electric-blue and white wings, especially when it is in flight. It also has very pale eyes and a black stripe on either side of its face which makes it look like it has a long moustache. It has a black and white crest which it raises sometimes when excited.
Jays eat acorns and they are natural planters of acorns which help to ensure the future existence of oak trees. They also eat hazelnuts, beechnuts, insects, fruit and birds’ eggs. Jays are also known as hoarders because of their habit of hiding acorns and retrieving them later. The acorns are usually buried in the ground or hidden in tree crevices. A Jay can hide as many as three thousand acorns a month.