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Eurasian Jay, Garrulus glandarius, Nötskrika


The Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius), called Gråspett in Skåne, is a species of bird occurring over a vast region from western Europe and north-west Africa to the Indian subcontinent and further to the eastern seaboard of Asia and down into south-east Asia.

Across its vast range, several very distinct racial forms have evolved to look very different from each other, especially when forms at the extremes of its range are compared.

The bird is called jay, without any epithets, by English speakers in Great Britain and Ireland.

Distribution and habitat
A member of the widespread jay group, and about the size of the jackdaw, it inhabits mixed woodland, particularly with oaks, and is a habitual acorn hoarder. In recent years, the bird has begun to migrate into urban areas, possibly as a result of continued erosion of its woodland habitat.

Before humans began planting the trees commercially on a wide scale, Eurasian jays were the main source of movement and propagation for the European oak (Q. robur), each bird having the ability to spread more than a thousand acorns each year.

Eurasian Jay, Garrulus glandarius, Nötskrika
Distribution of the Jay (Garrulus glandarius)
By Donkey shot - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10695635

Eurasian jays will also bury the acorns of other oak species, and have been cited by the National Trust as a major propagator of the largest population of holm oak (Q. ilex) in Northern Europe, situated in Ventnor on the Isle of Wight.

Jays have been recorded carrying single acorns as far as 20 km, and are credited with the rapid northward spread of oaks following the last ice age.

Eurasian Jay, Garrulus glandarius, Nötskrika

Range map
Range map from www.oiseaux.net - Ornithological Portal Oiseaux.net
www.oiseaux.net is one of those MUST visit pages if you're in to bird watching. You can find just about everything there


Taxonomy and systematics
The Eurasian jay was one of the many species originally described by Carl Linnaeus in his landmark 1758 10th edition of Systema Naturae. He recognised its affinity with other corvids, naming it Corvus glandarius.

The current scientific name is from Latin; garrulus means noisy or chattering, and glandarius is "of acorns", a favoured food.

Eight racial groups (33 subspecies in total) are recognised by Madge & Burn (1994): Jena Phyletic Museum, in Germany, features an excellent display of plumage variations across these races, which is used as a particularly striking example of the variation that can be found within species.

• the nominate group (nine European races), with a streaked crown.
• the cervicalis group (three races in North Africa), with a rufous nape, grey mantle, very pale head sides, and a streaked or black crown.
• the atricapillus group (four races in Middle East, Crimea & Turkey), with a uniform mantle & nape, black crown and very pale face.
• the race hyrcanus (Caspian Hyrcanian mixed forests of Iran), small with black forecrown and broadly streaked hindcrown.
• the brandtii group (four races in Siberia and northern Japan), with a streaked crown, reddish head, dark iris and grey mantle.
• the leucotis group (two races in south-east Asia), with no white in the wing, a white forecrown, black hindcrown and much white on the sides of the head.
• the bispecularis group (six races in the Himalayan region), with an unstreaked rufous crown, and no white wing-patch.
• the japonicus group (four races in the southern Japanese islands), with a large white wing-patch, blackish face and scaled crown


Length: 36 cm
Wingspan:
Weight: 140 to 190 g
Longevity: 18 years
Distinctive Feature

Similar Species



From opus at www.birdforum.net
Female / Male / Juvenile



From opus at www.birdforum.net

Behaviour and ecology
Its usual call is the alarm call which is a harsh, rasping screech and is used upon sighting various predatory animals, but the jay is well known for its mimicry, often sounding so like a different species that it is virtually impossible to distinguish its true identity unless the jay is seen.

It will even imitate the sound of the bird it is attacking, such as a tawny owl, which it does if attacking during the day. However, the jay is a potential prey item for owls at night and other birds of prey such as goshawks and peregrines during the day.

Diet
Feeding in both trees and on the ground, it takes a wide range of invertebrates including many pest insects, acorns (oak seeds, which it buries for use during winter), beech and other seeds, fruits such as blackberries and rowan berries, young birds and eggs, bats, and small rodents.

Like most species, the jay's diet changes with the seasons but is noteworthy for its prolific caching of food—especially oak acorns and beechnuts—for winter and spring. While caching occurs throughout the year, it is most intense in the autumn.

Breeding
It nests in trees or large shrubs laying usually 4–6 eggs that hatch after 16–19 days and are fledged generally after 21–23 days. Both sexes typically feed the young.

Eurasian Jay, Garrulus glandarius, Nötskrika
Garrulus glandarius's egg
By Didier Descouens - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30453328

Health
In order to keep its plumage free from parasites, it lies on top of anthills with spread wings and lets its feathers be sprayed with formic acid.


Anting

noun [MASS NOUN]  Ornithology behaviour seen in some birds, in which the bird either picks up ants and rubs them on the feathers or stands with the wings spread and allows the ants to crawl over it. It is probable that the ants' secretions help to keep the feathers in good condition.

Intelligence
Similar to other corvids, Eurasian jays have been reported to plan for future needs. Male Eurasian jays also take into account the desires of their partner when sharing food with her as a courtship ritual and when protecting food items from stealing conspecifics.

Listen to the Eurasian Jay

Remarks from the Recordist

Regular harsh call as well as a higher call, possibly mimicry.



Remarks from the Recordist

Recording (not its ID) has been discussed. See the forum.



Remarks from the Recordist

Recorded with my ZOOM H5 Handy Recorder

Bird take off



Remarks from the Recordist

Recorded with my ZOOM H5 Handy Recorder

Bird take off and give alarm call


www.xeno-canto.org


Conservation status
Eurasian Jay, Garrulus glandarius, Nötskrika
Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2012



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

www.birdforum.net


Sighted: (Date of first photo that I could use) 10 February 2021
Location: Bird Safari Sweden's Goshawk Hide, Svartådalen


Eurasian Jay, Garrulus glandarius, Nötskrika
Eurasian Jay /Nötskrika - 10 February 2021 - Bird Safari Sweden's Goshawk Hide, Svartådalen

Eurasian Jay, Garrulus glandarius, Nötskrika
Eurasian Jay /Nötskrika - 10 February 2021 - Bird Safari Sweden's Goshawk Hide, Svartådalen

Eurasian Jay, Garrulus glandarius, Nötskrika
Eurasian Jay /Nötskrika - 10 February 2021 - Bird Safari Sweden's Goshawk Hide, Svartådalen

Eurasian Jay, Garrulus glandarius, Nötskrika
Eurasian Jay /Nötskrika - 10 February 2021 - Bird Safari Sweden's Goshawk Hide, Svartådalen

Eurasian Jay, Garrulus glandarius, Nötskrika
Eurasian Jay /Nötskrika - 10 February 2021 - Bird Safari Sweden's Goshawk Hide, Svartådalen

Eurasian Jay, Garrulus glandarius, Nötskrika
Eurasian Jay /Nötskrika - 10 February 2021 - Bird Safari Sweden's Goshawk Hide, Svartådalen

Eurasian Jay, Garrulus glandarius, Nötskrika
Eurasian Jay /Nötskrika - 12 February 2021 - Bird Safari Sweden's Buzzard Hide, Svartådalen

Eurasian Jay, Garrulus glandarius, Nötskrika
Eurasian Jay /Nötskrika - 12 February 2021 - Bird Safari Sweden's Buzzard Hide, Svartådalen

Eurasian Jay, Garrulus glandarius, Nötskrika
Eurasian Jay /Nötskrika - 12 February 2021 - Bird Safari Sweden's Buzzard Hide, Svartådalen

Eurasian Jay, Garrulus glandarius, Nötskrika
Eurasian Jay /Nötskrika - 12 February 2021 - Bird Safari Sweden's Buzzard Hide, Svartådalen

Eurasian Jay, Garrulus glandarius, Nötskrika
Eurasian Jay /Nötskrika - 12 February 2021 - Bird Safari Sweden's Buzzard Hide, Svartådalen













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