There are many blue-colored birds in the world, and bluebirds and blue jays are often confused because they both have blue feathers and blue in their names. However, there are some key differences between blue Jay vs. blue bird that are easy to spot.
Bluebirds are generally smaller than blue jays, timider, and conservative. Additionally, they have a lower-pitched song, and they are not as loud as blue jays. Blue jays can be very aggressive when protecting their territory or chasing other birds away from food, while bluebirds tend to be more passive.
By paying attention to these fundamental differences, you can easily tell bluebirds and blue jays apart.
Let’s take a look at some bluebird and blue jay comparisons in more detail.
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Table of Contents
Blue Jays are large birds with blue feathers and a white underside. They have black striping on their wings and tail, and they are known for their loud calls. They are omnivores, eating both plants and animals, and they prefer habitats near forests and fields.
Blue Jays are easy to spot, thanks to their size and a blue crest. They typically hop from place to place on the ground, and they are known for stealing eggs from other birds’ nests during the breeding season.
Most of their diet, however, comes from plants, especially acorns. Blue Jays adapt well to human infrastructure and are found in many parts of the world.
There are three species of bluebirds in North America: the Eastern bluebird, the Mountain bluebird, and the Western bluebird. The Eastern bluebird is the most commonly-known bluebird in the United States and can be found in open woodlands and forest clearings.
The Western bluebird is native to the western United States and can be found in pine and spruce trees scattered over an open landscape. The Mountain bluebird is the least common and can be found in open landscapes without trees. These birds typically nest in cliffs and socialize with Western bluebirds.
The Eastern bluebird can be found year-round in the southeastern United States. They typically migrate north to southern Canada during the breeding season. The Western bluebird is located on the west coast of the US and in Mexico.
Finally, the Mountain bluebird’s range stretches across mountainous areas of western North America. They breed in places like Utah and Alaska during the summer months and then travel down to Mexico for winter.
Differences Between Bluebird And Blue Jay
Bluebirds were able to bounce back from a threatened state in the mid-20th century and now have a thriving population. This small bird is known to live a longer life than the blue jay. Even though bluebirds are much more passive than blue jays and migrate widely, these tiny birds can live between six to 10 years.
Blue jays, on the other hand, have a life span of six to eight years and typically thrive in human environments. Unfortunately, this also means that blue jays face threats from outdoor cats, buildings, airplanes, pesticides, and other poisons.
Although blue jays are not currently considered a threatened species, their populations could decline if these threats continue.
One of the most noticeable bluebirds vs. blue jays differences lies in their migration patterns. Bluebirds are migratory birds, which means they travel long distances to find food and mate during different seasons. The three bluebird species in North America migrate at different times and to different places.
Blue jays, on the other hand, are not migratory birds. They typically stay in the same area year-round, although some blue jays may travel short distances to find food during the winter.
Blue jay and bluebird are two very different species of bird. The blue jay is sexually monomorphic, meaning there is no visible difference between males and females.
The bluebird, on the other hand, is sexually dimorphic, meaning that males and females look quite different. Male bluebirds are often prized for their beauty, while females are responsible for finding shelter and taking care of the young.
In contrast, blue jays share these responsibilities equally between males and females. A family of blue jays will usually stay together for a longer period than bluebirds.
The blue jay’s song is a harsh, screeching sound that is designed to warn of predators and intimidate smaller birds. This signature song is one of the defining characteristics of the blue jay. The blue jay is also known as a jaybird, and this jeering sound is where the “jay” comes from.
They are known for their ability to mimic other birds, cats, or ringing phones. When mating, a blue jay’s song will change to a soft whistle or gentle warble. In contrast to the blue jay, bluebirds are classified as songbirds, and their tone is low-pitched and pleasant. Bluebirds typically sing a series of distinct notes that create a warbling sound.
As far as bluebirds vs. blue jays go, the biggest difference is in their appearance. Bluebirds and blue jays both have blue feathers, but that’s about where the similarity ends.
Male bluebirds are especially vibrant, while female bluebirds tend to be duller in color. Mountain bluebirds are mostly grey with a hint of blue.
Meanwhile, both male and female blue jays have blue feathers with white and black accents. They also have a white face with black accents around the beak and eyes, as well as a black necklace that goes around the base of their head.
Another signature feature of blue jays is their crest, which stands up when they’re excited or aggressive and fluffs out like a frightened cat’s tail when they’re threatened. When blue jays are resting, their crest lies flat.
So, if you’re ever wondering what the difference is between bluebirds and blue jays, just take a look at their appearance, and you should be able to tell them apart.
The blue jay and bluebird are two very different birds. Blue jays are part of the Corvidae family, which also includes ravens, crows, and magpies. They are medium-sized birds that are known for their loud bird song.
Bluebirds, on the other hand, belong to the Turdidae family, which is a large family of small songbirds. Other members of this family include robins, thrushes, and blackbirds.
Field Identification Tips
In order to distinguish blue jays from bluebirds, it is important to know a few key identification tips.
- For starters, bluebirds typically nest in cavities that are lined with natural materials like grass, pine needles, and small twigs.
- In contrast, blue jays usually build their nests in tree forks that are 5 to 20 feet off the ground.
- Additionally, bluebirds typically have lighter blue or whitish eggs, while blue jays typically have eggs that are pale green-blue and darkly spotted.
- Finally, bluebirds can be attracted to yards and gardens with suet, sunflower seeds, and peanuts, while blue jays are also attracted to corn and bread crumbs.
Knowing these key differences will help you tell blue jays and bluebirds apart!
Both bluebirds and blue jays have vastly different nesting preferences. Bluebirds typically nest in cavities, such as those found in trees or nesting boxes. These Birds will line their nests with small twigs, pine needles, grass, and other nesting materials.
Bluebirds may also use nesting boxes that are provided by humans. If you do offer nesting boxes, you should leave them out all year round as these little birds like to use them for shelter during the cold winter months.
On the other hand, blue jays prefer to nest in trees. They build their nests in the forks where branches meet the trunk, up to 20 feet above the ground. Both male and female blue jays work together to build a cup-shaped nest.
They use sticks, moss, bark, and grass to construct their nests. To encourage blue jays to nest in your yard, you can erect a nesting platform that should be at least 8 inches square. Ideally, you should place this in the fork of a mature evergreen tree. By providing blue jays with an ideal nesting location, you may encourage them to nest in your yard.
The blue jay and bluebird are both omnivorous birds, though the blue jay tends to eat mostly plant matter while the bluebird’s diet consists mostly of insects.
Blue jays are known to be resourceful feeders and have been observed using tools to help them gather food, while bluebirds typically forage from the ground or perch in trees.
There you have it! You should now have a much better understanding of the differences and similarities between blue jays and bluebirds. Although they may look quite similar at first glance, these two birds are quite different.
Blue jays are larger, more aggressive, and known for their loud calls, while bluebirds are smaller, more docile, and known for their beautiful singing.
So, next time you see one of these bluebirds, take a closer look and see if you can tell whether it’s a blue jay or a bluebird.
What’s your favorite blue bird? Let us know in the comments below!