The New Student's Reference Work/Jay
Jay, any one of a group of birds belonging to one division of the crow family. Jays are birds of moderate size with short, rounded wings and long, rounded tails, and are common in Europe, Asia, and North America. The blue jay of eastern North America remains throughout the year and is widely known. It is blue with black bars on the wings and tail, which are also tipped with white. Underneath it is whitish with a black collar across the chest. Its harsh cry of jay! jay! is varied with other notes. It imitates the sounds of several other birds, especially the hawks. It keeps quiet and retired while nesting, but is abundant in the autumn, picking up acorns and chestnuts. The jays as a group feed on seeds, acorns, eggs and young birds. The Florida jay and California jay are mainly blue. The Canada jay is slaty or grayish. The common jay of Europe is crested, as are also the blue jay, the Mexican jay and others.