• Wildlife Friendly Otley

JAY


A beautiful bird with an ugly screech of a call, I seem to see more of them around these days, particularly in the woods on the Chevin. They are very intelligent, like the other members of the Corvid family, and viewers of Springwatch will have seen they have a remarkable capacity for mimicry, even imitating birds they cannot have heard for several months. They bury thousands of acorns in the autumn, for retrieval over the winter, and have a special gullet capable of carrying up to 5 acorns at a time. Now the midsummer equinox has passed, birds’ sex organs start to shrink, and males start to lose their bright feathers (most birds moult to replace worn-out feathers with strong ones ready for winter or migration). In July and August many birds are quiet and hidden as they are vulnerable due to this moult. Some birds’ brains are bigger in Spring, too – they need to be in top form.

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