Jays are splendidly colourful birds. The colour of their body parts almost defies description but the patch at the bend of the wing is unmistakably blue. The smirking black moustache and black and white flecked crown gives them a comical appearance. In flight the wings show black and white as well as blue but it's the broad white rump patch which is most conspicuous.
Breeds and winters in orchards and dense thickets within woodlands, also in hedges and gardens.
Jays become more conspicuous in autumn when they regularly fly back and forth, collecting food, such as acorns in one area and burying it elsewhere. This process has played a vital role in the establishment and maintenance of Oak woodland.
Birds living to the west and south are sedentary but, when acorn crops fail, the populations in the north and east undergo mass 'irruptions' to areas in the south and west.
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