North Carolina Mountain Birds: Blue Jay

Blue Jay at the Inn on Mill Creek (August 2013)

We’re starting off this year’s 12 Months of Birding at the Inn — a monthly showcase of different bird species seen at the Inn on Mill Creek — with the big and beautiful Blue Jay. The Blue Jay is considered a year-round resident in our neck of the woods near Black Mountain, NC, but we don’t see them very often, so it’s special when they do make themselves known. They tend to prefer the edge of the woods and the Inn on Mill Creek is located two miles within Pisgah National Forest, so we assume that we’re not really Blue Jay territory, even though we’re surrounded by oak trees and Blue Jays love acorns. Blue Jays also migrate (estimates are that fewer than 20% of Blue Jays migrate), but according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, they have a mysterious migration pattern. For example a Blue Jay may migrate south one year and then migrate north or stay put the next year.

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