Jays are a shy woodland bird, and the most colourful member of the crow family. Despite being fairly common throughout England, they are quite difficult to see, rarely moving from cover. You will likely hear a Jay rather than see one as they give out a screaming sound when on the move.
They are easily identified by their blue stripe, and are famous for their acorn feeding habits. Jays can often be seen in autumn burying acorns to retrieve later in wintertime.
Whether you’ll see a Jay in your garden is mostly down to location. Jays like to live in deciduous and coniferous woodlands, as well as parks and mature gardens. You may see them in oak trees or flying across fields throughout autumn as they search for and bury acorns.
The Jay has quite a varied diet, alongside acorns Jays also enjoy insects, earthworms, young birds, seeds, grain and fruit. They are not very easy to attract to feeding stations, however if you live in or near woodlands, you may see them come to bird tables and ground feeders early in the morning.
Have we mentioned that Jays like acorns? To put this into context, a single Jay may bury up to 3000 acorns in one season. As a member of the crow family, they are very intelligent and so remember where they buried the acorns to feed on during winter. They of course sometimes forget, and so are credited with helping the spread of oak trees throughout the UK.
If you have heard a Jay in or around your garden, a seed mix may work well in getting them to feed, as would mealworms and peanuts.
Have you had success in attracting a Jay to your garden? Let us know your tips in the comments!
We did have two last year feeding off the bird table n had hoped this they would be back but only the wood peckers have come back this year but still hoping they will come
I had 6 in my garden a few years ago, occasionally I have seen one this year but we have Magpies nesting in an old Scots Pine at the bottom of the garden, not sure if these are seen as competition? I do have a mature Oak tree, with half a dozen young ones growing and a couple of semi mature trees which provide the Jays with Acorns. I hope to attract more over the coming years as the Oak trees mature. We have a lot of mature trees of other species around us and our garden backs onto an old estate and some lakes which probably helps. We’re on the edge of town too.