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jay,common name for a number of birds of the family Corvidae (crows and jays), found in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The best-known representatives in America are the blue jayblue 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.
..... Click the link for more information. , Cyanocitta cristata, and the Canada jay. The Canada jay is gray, about 12 in. (30 cm) long, with a white throat and forehead and black nape; it has no crest. Found in northern coniferous forests and swamps, it is known for its habit of stealing bright objects, and is called locally camp robber, whisky jack, and moose bird. The common jay is of wide distribution and is hunted for game in England and Europe. The female lays from five to seven eggs per clutch, and the male helps incubate them. The Florida, or scrub, jay has blue markings and no crest. The European jay is fawn-colored, with a black and white crest and wings of black, white, and 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.
..... Click the link for more information. , subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passeriformes, family Corvidae.
(Garrulus glandarius), a bird of the family Corvidae of the order Passeriformes. The jay is 34 cm long and weighs as much as 160 g. The plumage is loose and reddish gray, and the tail black. Each wing has a blue patch specked with black; the head has a crest spotted with black.
The jay is found in Europe, Asia, and northwestern Africa. In the USSR its range includes forests in the Crimea and Caucasus and forests as far north as 60°–62°N lat.; the bird wanders widely in autumn and winter. The nest is placed in a tree. A clutch contains five to seven speckled eggs, which are incubated by both the male and female for 16 or 17 days. The diet consists of seeds, berries, acorns, and insects. Largely a beneficial species, the jay consumes insects and, through its habit of storing acorns for the winter, contributes to the dispersal of the oak. However, it sometimes robs the nests of small birds.