January 10, 2020
| Blue Jay by Jennifer Smith |
The fourth category for this season’s BirdSpotter contest celebrated birds sporting blue and gray plumage. Congratulations to our BirdSpotter Judges’ Choice winner, Jennifer Smith of Melbourne, KY, for impressing the judges with this sunny shot of a Blue Jay! Jennifer described her experience with this Blue Jay below:
I have a variety of birds that come to my yard in Kentucky, but have always found the Blue Jay to be one of the most beautiful, especially the feathers on their back. When I took this picture it just really stood out to me the way the sun hit its back and made those hues of blue just pop. I’ve always been intrigued by the numerous range of calls the Blue Jay makes as well.
Blue Jays are a common feeder visitor to the east and central parts of the continent, and in winter their range reaches even farther west out to the coasts of Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. These sometimes noisy birds are known for their intelligence, like other members of the Corvidae family. Blue Jays will eat all kinds of food at feeders, but peanuts, sunflower seeds, and suet are among the most energy-rich foods you can provide. They like to cache food to snack on later, but inevitably, there are always stashes that are forgotten about or never revisited. Their habit of caching acorns is even thought to have helped spread oak trees across the continent after the last glacial period!
Submissions are still open for the fifth BirdSpotter category Birds in Flight! Submit your photo of a bird on the wing by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on Thursday, January 16, for a chance to win. Winners will be announced on Friday, January 24. Biweekly People’s Choice and Judges’ Choice winners receive prizes from the Cornell Lab and our sponsor, Wild Birds Unlimited and are entered into the final Grand Prize contest. Anyone can participate in the BirdSpotter contest by entering a photo and voting for their favorites! Find out more about the BirdSpotter contest.