Other names: Herald, Markwart, Waldhäher
Latin name: Garrulus glandarius
size: 30 - 35 cm
mass: 150 - 170 g
Older: 10 - 15 years
Appearance: blue-black wing covers, pink back and top, tail feathers black, white rump
Sexual dimorphism: No
Nutrition type: Omnivore (omnivor)
food: Cereals, acorns, small mammals, nut fruits, fruits, insects
distribution: Asia, Europe, North Africa
original origin: unknown
Sleep-wake rhythm: diurnal
habitat: Deciduous, coniferous and mixed forests
natural enemies: Birds of prey
sexual maturity: towards the end of the first year of life
mating season: April to June
breeding season: about 16 days
clutch size: 3 - 6 eggs
social behavior: Loners
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting about the jay
- The jay or Garrulus glandarius describes a songbird counted among the corvids, which is native to much of Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.
- It inhabits deciduous, coniferous and mixed forests as well as public parks and gardens and cemeteries. Often he is also a guest at feeding sites in private gardens.
- Jays live as partakers, which depending on the area of distribution can undertake both short and local as well as very long migrations.
- With a body height of about 35 centimeters, the jay is about as large as a Waldohrheule, a kestrel or a crow. He brings an average of 170 grams on the scales.
- The jay is unmistakable thanks to its striking plumage. Above all, the bright blue and black striped wing covers and the brownish pink back and top are clear signs of recognition. The snow-white rump stands in stark contrast to the plumage on the abdomen, back and wings. The tail feathers are black like parts of the wings, the short beak and the cheeks.
- The jay owes its name to its peculiarity of laying large supplies of acorns and nuts for the winter months. He hides these on the ground in his territory. New trees are growing out of many of these acorns and nuts.
- However, the jay is an omnivore that feeds on various nut fruits, as well as on fruits, grains and maize, birdseed and various insects and their larvae, caterpillars, worms and snails. Occasionally the jay also looses eggs and nestlings of other birds or a mouse.
- Also, the jay has many predators. Especially many young birds fall prey to crows, Uhus or various birds of prey.
- Males and females join together to form monogamous seasonal heifers and hatch per year a nest that consists of three to six eggs.
- The flat nest is laid high up in a tree and is softly padded with moss. The young birds spend the first three weeks of life in the nest and are fed by both parents. Even after flying out, they remain in the care of their parents for some time.
- The life expectancy of the jay is about fifteen years.