Belongs to: crows

Jay Garrulus glandarius

Best time to see: all year

Key facts

Large, shy woodland bird with distinctive plumage including a blue wing patch

Habitat: wooded areas, and gardens or parks close to woodland

Widespread resident


Brownish-pink with blue and white patches on black wings, white rump and black tail; 33–36cm

Social in spring, gathering in groups; otherwise secretive, presence usually revealed by harsh calls 

Feeds on acorns, collecting and burying a store in autumn; eggs and young birds; insects; occasionally worms, mice, lizards


Courtship display includes posturing with wings and tail spread

Nest is made of twigs lined with hair and roots in a tree fork

One brood April to June; 3–6 pale green eggs, speckled buff

© David Harrison