blue jay

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blue jay,

common name for a familiar bird (Cyanocitta cristata) of central and E North America, allied to the crow, the raven, and the magpie, belonging to the family Corvidae. Almost a foot (30 cm) long, it is handsome and conspicuous. Its upper parts, including the crest, are grayish violet blue. The wings and tail are bright blue with black and white markings, the neck is collared with black, and the under parts are gray and white. Except during the nesting season it has a raucous cry with hawklike and other imitative sounds. Some winter in their northern range, but many travel south. They feed chiefly on large insects, seeds, and nuts (especially acorns and beechnuts); they also eat eggs and nestlings. When the female blue jay is incubating, she is fed by the male. Blue jays are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passeriformes, family Corvidae.
References in periodicals archive ?
West Nile virus-species infection rates among 248 culture-positive dead birds collected in Harris County, Texas, January 2003-March 2004 Common name Scientific name Total tested Blue Jay Cyanocitta cristata 376 American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos 23 Loggerhead Shrike Lanius ludovicianus 14 House Sparrow Passer domesticus 119 Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottus 99 Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura 278 Rock Dove Columba livia 48 Inca Dove Columbina inca 38 Great-crested Flycatcher Myiarchus crinitus 1 Carolina Chickadee Parus carolinensis 3 Tufted Titmouse Baeolophus bicolor 2 Common Grackle Quiscalus quiscula 84 Orchard Oriole Icterus spurius 3 American Goldfinch Carduelis tristis 1 Common name No.
olivaceus Blue Jay Cyanocitta cristata American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos Fish Crow C.
olivaceus W Blue Jay Cyanocitta cristata S American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos N/A Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris S Black-capped Chickadee Poecile atricapillus W Red-breasted Nuthatch Sitta canadensis W White-breasted Nuthatch S.