Jay bird: description and photo


If not, how does it look and where does it live?

Yes, this bird was invented in the trilogy "The Hunger Games" by writer Susan Collins. In the story, this bird is a hybrid of a common jay with its mutant, which was brought out in District 13. Its (mutant) feature that can be seen in the film is to memorize all sounds, words and music that they hear and then play them. This ability was used for espionage. A hybrid was able to simply repeat the sounds, and the main character in the first part of the trilogy used them as a signal.

A really existing bird of Lyra is very similar to this image, but this is another story.

Mockingbird is a fictional character and does not exist in the real world. This bird was made up specifically for such a movie as The Hunger Games. In the film, the origin of a bird is defined as the crossing of a jay and a mockingbird.

Serg1111, you are not quite right, such a bird exists, only it is called Jay Steller,

This bird lives in Canada and in the north of the United States. It also has a color different from the book: in reality it is black with blue tan. But it also knows how to imitate the voices of other birds and mechanisms and the shape is the same as that described in the book and film .

Canadian provinces, in addition to the generally accepted emblem and flag, have other official symbols: animal, bird, tree, flower, stone, etc. Steller's jay is the official bird of British Columbia, its "bird's face". The decision to build an elegant brunette with a spectacular hairstyle at such a high administrative rank was made at a provincial referendum in 1987.

An outstanding German natural scientist Georg Wilhelm Steller (Georg Wilhelm Steller, 1709–1746, died and was buried in Tyumen) first described the jay of this species. Working under contract in the Petersburg Academy of Sciences, he participated in the Second Kamchatka Expedition of Vitus Bering, where, in particular, he explored the north-west coast of America.

As a full-fledged member of the family of ravens, Steller's jay is a robber: ruins nests, attacks and even kills small birds, fearlessly attacks cats and dogs, defending his own nest. A great imitator: can imitate the voices of birds, squirrels, cats, dogs, and even the sound of some mechanisms!

Can you imagine what an effective weapon against competitors? Say, to the generously covered feeder - do not get through. It is enough for a sly mockingbird to hide and shout in a hawkish way - all eaters will scatter in fear, leaving the table at her complete disposal.

Known fact surviving steller's jay to 16 years and 1 month


Mockingbird is a daw-like bird. The length of its body is about 30-40 centimeters with a tail growing up to 12-15 centimeters.

Description of the jay bird should start with its wings - their span of 50-55 centimeters with the length of the wings themselves about 15-17 centimeters. Weighty mockingbirds quite a bit, only 170-200 grams. The head is decorated with a beautiful wide tuft. Above the tail the feathers are painted white, while the beak, wings and the tail itself are black. The little bird body has rusty-brown plumage with narrow stripes of bright blue color on the shoulders.

The feathers on the head of the jays of different regions are colored differently. For example, European individuals have light feathers with brown specks. Asians are wearing a light brown "hairstyle", mockingbirds from the Caucasus and from Asia Minor flaunt black. From the beak to the neck are wide stripes of black. Paws are red-brown, the neck is light. The wings are rounded, the bird jay flies quite slowly.

In moments of excitement the bird raises feathers on the head, forming a pretty tuft. At the sight of predators or people, jays make loud noises, warning other animals and birds of impending danger.

In general, the crotch looks very elegant and beautiful. But not everyone can see this, as these birds are very shy.

For those who only get acquainted with this feathered person, the question often arises: "Is Jay a migratory bird or not?" Individuals living in the south reside on the same territory. Those who inhabit the northern areas, too, try not to move away from the usual places without special needs. Birds leave their native territories only in case of crop failure or too unfavorable conditions. It turns out that the migration of jays is extremely irregular.

This bird is rather curious and noisy. Long flights are not peculiar to it. Most of the time she prefers to jump from one tree to another on the branches, dart in the thickets of the forest.

Jay's voice is raspy, sharp. This species perfectly imitates the sounds of other birds or even the voice of a person. Actually, it is for this reason that the jay received the nickname "permuste". It is not uncommon for meowing or barking to be heard in a deep forest: birds who, after visiting human habitation, remember the sounds that were heard there.

In the winter cold, when it is difficult to dig up food from under the layer of snow, mockers tend to open places, often appearing on the outskirts of cities and villages.

The jay bird is a forest dweller who spends her whole life more often. This species can eat not only vegetable but also animal food. The most common food of mockingbirds are berries, seeds, insects, frogs, eggs of small birds, and lizards. In addition, some jays attack chicks, small rodents or young songbirds that are just learning to fly. They can also collect food on the ground, moving by jumping.

The jay bird, the photo and description of which can be seen in this article, is quite clever. She stores acorns for the winter, collecting them and hiding them in her hiding places. Some individuals collect up to 4 kilograms of acorns. If a bird wants to feast on a caterpillar that rustles under the bark, the jay can stick its head and break the bark. In the same way, she hunts other hiding insects. Very often the caches of jays are found by squirrels or other birds that eat up all the supplies.

However, often jay and does not remember about their reserves. Such a short memory of a bird plays into the hands of oaks - forgotten acorns sprout to form new oak forests.


Nesting in jays begins in early spring. Birds form pairs and begin to build a nest. For these purposes, they choose the darkest corners of the forest. They can build a nest both on coniferous trees and on deciduous trees.

Nests arrange on the side branches, raised above the ground to a height of 2-5 meters. They are driven from branches, with dry grass from the inside. It resembles a bowl with a diameter of about 20-30 centimeters, a depth of 15 centimeters. Downy feathers, feathers, wool, and moss spread to the grass bottom of the mockingbird. Sometimes, as a home, the jays are equipped with finished hollows.

The female can lay 5-7 eggs, after which it incubates for 16-17 days. Around mid-May chicks hatch. The first 20 days they are diligently fed by their parents. By the end of June, young jays fly out of the nest. Until the first days of autumn, the chicks try to stay close to their parents, and then begin an independent life. Usually, young individuals from different families gather in a flock and look for a suitable place to live.


Bird jay in nature lives about 5-7 years. However, there were cases when they lived to 22 years.

The jay bird, the photo and description of which will be incomplete without telling about the dangers that lie in life, leads an active lifestyle. While the sun is shining, mockers get their own food. But as soon as night falls, the birds hide in the branches of the trees. In bad weather or winter blizzard, jays find shelter under the fir branches.

A lot of enemies have in nature a mocking jay. The bird must be wary of predators and larger birds. It may be attacked by an eagle owl, a marten, and a gray crow, and a goshawk. However, the bird population retains its numbers. Currently, there is no threat of extinction of the species.

Popularity and Legends

Jay, whose photo will decorate any collection, is quite popular not only because of its good looks. There are more interesting skills for which people are willing to keep the birds at home or to attribute them wonderful qualities.

So, jays can not just repeat the sounds. There are cases when a bird repeated more than ten words, imitating not only words, but also a human voice.

In addition, some individuals are able to cope with the viper, which makes them a desirable pet in areas where you can often meet these reptiles.

In some cultures, the jay is considered a kind of bird of happiness. However, in other nations it is believed that these birds bring bad luck.

In the American television series The Big Bang Theory, one of the main characters, who fears birds to the horror, thanks to jay became their ardent admirer.

The recent film "Mocking Jay", in which the bird was a symbol of freedom, the fight against oppression and injustice, brought great fame to this species.

Well, it is impossible not to remember Harper Lee's magnificent novel "To Kill a Mockingbird." The mention of this bird in the book comes down to the fact that mockingbirds are very harmless, able to deliver joy with their singing. They do not peck "cultural" berries, do not nest human housing. They just sing ...

Jay description

Jay can not be called a small bird: she is twice the size of a starling, from beak to tail the length of her body is about 40 cm, and the wingspan reaches half a meter. Jay weight is relatively small and is 170-200 g. Sitting on a branch, the bird looks smaller than in flight.

Jay lifestyle

Even bright plumage and daytime life do not often allow you to see jays in their natural environment. The birds are very careful and shy. Sensitively reacting to the slightest rustles and movements nearby, they quickly hide in dense branches, notifying other relatives of the possible threat of disturbing cries. Loud sounds made by birds will accompany the movement of a dangerous object for a long time. For such super alertness, jays are called forest guards.

Jay's own song is not melodious or expressive and usually consists of indistinct whistling, clicking, gurgling. But the wonderful talent of a mockingbird allows the bird to include in its repertoire an imitation of the overheard singing of other birds and the sounds of the thicket. After returning to the forest after staying near a rural dwelling, the jays are able to imitate the bleating of sheep, the meowing of a cat, the barking of a dog, the sound of an ax, the creaking of doors. Individuals living in captivity can even reproduce simple phrases spoken by a person, repeating not only words but also intonations.

The main part of the day the birds spend in search of food. They rarely descend to the ground or fly over long distances, preferring to stay for a long time at a safe height of the middle and upper forest tiers. Their flight in open space can seem rather slow and awkward. However, such maneuvering movements, carried out by alternating beats and layouts, are very convenient for moving birds over short distances.

For most of the year, jays live in pairs, monogamous in some species.. In small, numbering from 20 to 30 individuals, flocks they gather only on the eve of winter, having finished raising the offspring. This allows the jays to lose less heat during the weather, when they are hiding in the branches of coniferous trees as a group. Depending on the subspecies and living conditions, the lifestyle of the jays can be either nomadic or sedentary. In general, jays have good adaptive properties. In combination with a rather sharp mind, this allows forest mockingbirds to adapt even to a not very comfortable environment.

It is interesting! Thanks to his tricks, the jays find many ways to make their existence easier. They do not neglect easy prey, ruining squirrel pantries and nests of other birds, stealing potato tubers, carrots and beets scattered on the fields to dry, making raids on vineyards and orchards in search of juicy delicacy.

But the most striking proof of the intelligence of the jays is the way they get rid of ectoparasites. The bird goes to the anthill (its inhabitants must belong to the family Formicinae) and tread on it or just sit on top. Irritated by an unexpected visit, insects attack an uninvited guest, spraying acid from poison glands. Falling on the plumage and quickly absorbed by it, the ant excretion kills the annoying jay of parasites. Ornithologists even have a special term for such a kind of grooming, - anthizing (enting).


Jays can be seen everywhere in Europe, including in Scandinavia and northern Russia. The bird distribution area also includes the Caucasus, Asia Minor, northern Iran and the African continent, the southern regions of Siberia, and the northern parts of Mongolian Altai. Practically everywhere, except for humid subtropics, jays also live in the Far East. Despite the fact that before birds were largely considered continental, today they are found on islands: there are known species that form nesting sites in Sardinia, Corsica, Sicily, Crete, the Greek archipelago, Sakhalin, the South Kuriles and the island part of Kamchatka. Usually jays are not sent to long flights, surviving the winter in permanent habitats and leaving them only in cases of severe crop failure or adverse changes in climatic conditions. Thus, the migration of jays is not of a regular nature, and it would be more correct to say that a part of the populations belong to the migratory, and a part to the settled and wandering.

It is interesting! The presence of these birds as characters in the myths of various nations, from Oceania to Norway and from Japan to Britain, indicates the widespread and even omnipresence of jays. Slavs, for example, have such a belief. Avian Iriy (Vyri) is a place where birds fly away for the winter, accompanying the souls of dead people in their wanderings.

At the beginning of spring, the gates of Iria open, and storks rush to the awakening land, carrying the world newborn babies. Only three birds have the keys to this amazing abode — the nightingale, the swallow, and the jay, which first appear in Iriah and the last come back from there. Jay habitats are associated with forests, mainly oak forests and mixed tracts. In the south, birds also nest among shrubs. In the vertical relation, the species is distributed from lowlands to a wooded belt of mountains, not exceeding a level of about 1,600 m.

Jay Bird Diet

The basis of the diet of jays is vegetable food.. Most often acorns fall into tenacious claws, which birds cleverly chop with sharp edges on the mandible. The jay's favorite menu is complemented with nuts and various berries - raspberries, strawberries, lingonberries, mountain ash. If it is not possible to find acorns in oak forests, the jays feed on the seeds of oats, wheat, sunflower, peas, and harvest them in the fields. From mid-spring to late autumn, new “products” are included in your diet. The main prey of birds during this period are insect pests:

  • bronze beetles,
  • cheeks,
  • barbel,
  • May beetles,
  • weevils,
  • silkworm caterpillars,
  • sawfly larvae.

In the case of a jay, predatory instincts can manifest, and then small rodents, frogs, lizards, and even small birds — beaverbirds, bluebirds, gray flycatchers, and their offspring become food for them. But only some subspecies behave this way, acorns remain the main preference of European jays.

It is interesting! Jay has a habit of making reserves for the future. With the food she finds, she fills her hyoid bag, which makes it possible to quickly transfer the prey to the secluded places under the bark of the trees in a bed of foliage or moss. In such pantries, sometimes up to 4 kg of various foods are collected. Sometimes birds forget about their hiding places, and then their contents, sprouting, gives rise to new oak and walnut groves.

In winter, when it is impossible to extract food in the forest from under the snow covers, jays can be seen near people's dwellings on the outskirts of villages and even in the city, where they go in search of food. Some species in the conditions of lack of a natural source of food become synanthropic, that is, they live in close proximity to humans.

Natural enemies

Despite their caution and the ability to quickly hide, in the natural environment of the jay suffer from the attacks of enemies - goshawk hawks, owls, crows, martens. Hazard for mockers is a man:

  • birds die from poisoning, feeding on the fields where pesticides were introduced to combat insect pests,
  • the foresters and hunters shoot the jays, as they consider them ruinous nests,
  • growers and gardeners arrange traps so that the birds do not peck the harvest.

Population and species status

Due to its special care, high adaptive abilities and ingenuity, the jays manage to keep their numerical and geographical distribution stable. In Europe, the territories where the species population is large include Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, France, Portugal, and Finland. На сегодняшний день исчезновение сойкам ничуть не грозит, а их природоохранный статус оценивается как вызывающий наименьшие опасения.


В зависимости от времени года птица сойка ищет пищу на земле или на деревьях. На поверхности земли она ищет себе пауков, червей и мелких грызунов. In the trees, the bird eagerly eats acorns, nuts, as well as eggs and even chicks of other birds.

In autumn, the main food of the jay is acorns. Each bird collects several thousand acorns annually, some of them carefully buried in the ground. Jays hide acorns in the soil shallow. They scoop out a small hole with their paws, put an acorn in it and cover it with earth, twigs and leaves. Jays also make stocks of nuts, beech cones and berries.

In spring and summer, the birds feed on insects: crunches, barbel beetles, weevils, leaf cutters. Of the small animals, the jay eats rodents, lizards, frogs, small birds, and feasts on their eggs too.


A jay is a shy bird that is easier to hear in the forest than to see. Jay lives in the woods. Outside the nesting period, this bird prefers oak groves. In some regions, the jay is a migratory bird. In flight, it is difficult to confuse with other birds. You can get to know the jay by the white plumage from the inside of the tail, the black tail, the black-and-blue mirror and white spots on the wings. For short distances, the jay flies rapidly. This bird has an interesting habit - it sits on an anthill and allows ants to "walk" in their plumage. Ants thus produce formic acid, which seeps into bird feathers. Thus, the jay manages to get rid of various parasites.

Reproduction of juices

The nesting period at the jays lasts from April to June and is accompanied by a complex ritual. With the onset of the first spring days, they create pairs and soon begin building nests. The nest is usually built on the territory of a small area, which birds protect from other representatives of the species. This territory they inhabit for several years. Birds together build a small flat nest well hidden among the branches of a tree. It is located near the trunk. The nest consists of twigs and stalks of grass and is lined with dry grass.

In late April, the female lays from 4 to 7 pale greenish or yellowish with brown specks of eggs. They are hired in turn by the female and male. Nestlings hatch in 16-17 days. In the nest, they stay for 19-20 days, and then fly with their parents or unite in large flocks with other jays.


Jays live in mixed, deciduous and coniferous forests, and in open spaces only where there are plenty of trees that grow separately. They can be found near cities, but always only in those places where there are trees, especially oaks. In the dense forest, loud cries of "ra-ah-rra-ah" indicate the presence of the jay. It is difficult to confuse with other birds, due to the characteristic color of feathers and the black-and-blue "mirror". Jay is a very shy bird, so usually you can only see its tail when it flies away.


  • Many hunters shoot jays at every opportunity, as they consider them pests that eat chicks and eggs of birds nesting on the ground.
  • Jay imitates various sounds very well. Her repertoire includes dog barking, goat bleating, etc.
  • Jays find their stocks in the winter, often under a layer of snow or leaves. From acorns that they do not find, trees grow, so they say that jays "plant forests".


Flight: in flight, white tail feathers and white spots on the wings become visible.

Head: feathers on the crown are white with black stripes; in the event of an alarm, a small tuft appears.

Beak: strong and sharp, great for cleaning and splitting acorns, nuts and fruits.

Eggs: 4-7 pale greenish or yellowish with brown spots.

Wings: black ends and bright blue with a black rim "mirror" on the bend.

- Jay habitat


The jay is distributed almost throughout Europe, in North Africa, Asia Minor, in the Caucasus, in Northern Iran, the southern half of Siberia, on Sakhalin, in Korea, China and Japan.


Jay adapts to any conditions, now she is not in danger. The only danger to her is the use of pesticides by humans.