Wednesday, 8 February 2023

The EURASIAN JAY Garrulus Gariulus

In Portugal Eurasian Jays are a protected species. This is because of the benefits that they bring to the ecology. In the autumn their main source of food is acorns and they cache thousands of this high protein food. A Jay can store as many as 5,000 acorns during autumn, what's more it remembers 75% of where they are hidden. Some of the remaining acorns germinate, therefore spreading the forest. The selection of Jay images were mostly taken in December 2021, and December of 2022 with just a few taken this year.

Early morning sky

The following images of Jays were taken in all kind of weather. Images in the sun, shade, and rain.

These shy sensitive birds are often heard rather than seen,

but there are many Eurasian Jays where I live, and many Oak trees so as long as I stay hidden as much as possible, and keep perfectly still, I'm able to get the odd photo opportunity which is always thrilling.

I cover my white hair with a scarf with muted colours, and wear a similar colour to my wooden shutters to camouflage myself whilst photographing. 

If I move my camera fractionally, they swiftly fly away,

They regularly do a fly-by on my balcony picking up a peanut on the wing.

Every morning I place peanuts in their shells all along the length of my balcony, and  the Jays are artists at picking them up on the wing,

When the Jays stop, they can pick up 6 -7 peanuts and carry them off in their crop, but unfortunately my balcony is in the shade until 1.30, so any photos I take are always dull in colour.

Ha Ha! I couldn't resist sharing this one, although it doesn't seem fair to this gorgeous creature to make fun of it, rather my inept photography skills and the railings are to blame.


 It's pinkish brown plumage and the bright blue panel on the upper wing, and black mustache and tail, make it a very attractive creature

They have spectacular eyesight and have a wide field of view as they can see in almost every direction so outwitting a Jay is quite a victory.

I shot this one from far away and was quite pleased with the outcome.

This Jay and the next one are one and the same. I think that in the next image the Jay saw me and it quickly took flight, but not before I managed to take these two photos.

A sideways shot shows off the jays beautiful blue feathers, for which they were once persecuted. Thank goodness that shooting
them is now illegal.

I took this shot yesterday.

Another shot of a Jay just before take off.

The Eurasian Jay brightens up a grey day.

Jays far away in the forest,

It's plumage stands out quite nicely amongst the greenery,

    especially on grey days, when the days are overcast.

This and the next images were taken recently.

This image was taken yesterday morning.

It has rained almost every day but we have had some bright colourful sunsets. Closing and sharing two of them with you.

Long after the setting of the sun, the sky is still colourful. All shots taken through my bedroom window.


Richard Pegler said...

Thank you for showing your beautiful photos of Jays, Sonjia. They are wonderful birds with gorgeous faces, and that blue panel on the wings is fabulous - I just wish I had more opportunities to photograph them here in UK!

Best wishes - stay safe - - - Richard

Marit said...

Hello dear Sonjia :)

Your photos of the Jays are beautiful. Yes, they are very shy, and I never get close enough to get a nice photo of them. They live here too in my garden, and I see them now and then during the winter. I never see them in summertime. So nice that they eat maple seeds. Shooting birds anyway seems horrible to me.
Warm hugs.

Michelle said...

I enjoyed seeing these jays. I also like that you leave them peanuts. I also enjoy feeding birds.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Inept photographic skills? Inept? Perish the thought. I had to do a double take to make sure it was Sonjia's blog I was reading and admiring. Now, the Sonjia I know is a wizard with a camera, a maestra of the lens, a capturer of magic. And these pictures are proof of all of that and more. Worthy of being used to illustrate a monograph of the species. Fabulous shots of a difficult bird to photograph, accomplished by skillful camouflage of the white-haired human, in a turnabout on the bird. Inept? I don't think so, honey! Hugs - David

roentare said...

It is a great introduction to Eurasian jays for me. A beautiful bird. Nice sunset colours too

MadSnapper said...

you should take a selfie of you in your bird photographer camouflage so we can see it. these birds are extraordinary to me. so beautiful. we only have regular blue jays, nothing like this. each photo tells another story and I love the railing photo, made me laugh. what a world you have from your balcony.

Lowcarb team member said...

I did enjoy seeing your photographs of the Jay. We have a few who visit the garden from time to time. I didn't know that a Jay can store as many as 5,000 acorns during autumn!

Many thanks too for sharing those beautiful sunsets.

Sending my good wishes.

All the best Jan

Teresa said...

Como siempre tus fotografías son preciosas. Un pájaro que me gusta mucho, por aquí se ven algunos. Besos.

Lea said...

Great photos of beautiful birds!
Love the sunset, too

Linda said...

Very cool bird! I love the pattern on the wings

Jutta K. said...

These are beautiful photos you took of this magnificent jay!
We have it here too, but rarely seen so close up!
I also think the "fun photo" is very successful!
Greetings from far away Germany

Irma said...

You've taken beautiful photos of the jay.
The jay is a shy bird and not easy to photograph, moreover they are gluttons and very smart.
I enjoyed the photos.
Greetings Irma

eileeninmd said...

Beautiful photo collection, I love your pretty Jay. I feed my Jays peanuts too, it is their favorite treat. It is sad anyone would want to shoot any bird. Your sunset images are lovely too. Take care, have a great day!

sami niilola said...

Superb photos. Beatiful and wise bird.

LEN said...

I do not know what specie of jay visits my garden very occasionally, Sonjia, but when I see one I wonder why they developed that patch of blue feathers. I am always struck by their beauty and shyness.Your photos which you said were taken over three years are truly remarkable. What patience you have. I would so love to be with you to witness your skill,but I would have to cover up my hair too!

Nick Morgan said...

Hi Sonjia,
Lovely pictures and it is amazing you have managed to get so many. We have had a lot of Jays here over the last 12 months. More than I remember in previous years. They are extremely shy, though, and I only see them in the distance, or as they fly off.

Veronica Lee said...

I really enjoyed your stunning captures of the Jays.

Hugs and blessings!

carol l mckenna said...

what an awesome bird and delightful and gorgeous photos ~

Wishing you good health, laughter and love in your days,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

They really do have such beautiful feathers in their wings. I like the funny photo too!

Tom said...

...the stripped feathers on its wings are beautiful. Enjoy as many sunsets as you can.

John's Island said...

Hi Sonija, So wonderful to see you getting back into action with your camera. The Eurasian Jay is a beauty of a bird and your photography is a delight. Your photographic skills are the exact opposite of “inept.” 😊 I love the thought of how nature uses the bird to spread acorns which germinate, therefore spreading the forest. Your sky photos at the beginning and end are full of joy. The first image is like a wonderful painting. Another excellent post and thank you, Sonija, for sharing. John

RedPat said...

Wonderful pics. Your jays are so different from ours.

Debbie said...

what a beautiful bird, with such a detailed feather pattern. and how about that memory, i could use to remember 75%. these pictures are really stunning, the light in some of them is really pretty!!

gorgeous sunsets, we have been having some really nice ones too!!

have a wonderful weekend!!

Bill said...

Beautiful photos of the jays, I enjoyed seeing them.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

A delightful bird to see! its wongs are so colorful and unique. You took such great photos of it.

Shiju Sugunan said...

Some incredible shots! I'm so glad your camouflage worked. I did like the fun shot with the peanut in its mouth. Beautiful sunsets too!

J.P. Alexander said...

Que lindos pajaritos te mando un beso.

Phil Slade said...

That is so interesting, that the Jay is protected in Portugal. Of course here in England it is regarded as a pest species just like its cousins of the crow family and as such is fair game for people who would do the species harm, mainly farmers and shooters. This, as you rightly point out Sonjia is a very shortsighted view when the Jays habit of burying acorns can lead to regeneration of oak trees and forests. Especially shortsighted when at the same time we are told that we have to plant trees to "save the planet". On the other hand when did we expect our governments to actually walk the talk? A nicely illustrated and informative post.

Anni said...

Sweet images of the Jay!! It's good knowing they are a protected species. Love the comical photo too!! Yes, it's irresistible.
Hello! Thanks for linking in at IRBB this week.

Len said...

Dear Sonjia, I felt I must tell you that your photos cleary illustrate your artistic ability .Perhaps of all your devotees I am alone in knowing your history.Your skill in capturing that moment is very special.I always look forward to your posts.

Bob Bushell said...

The Jay is a beautiful bird, one of my best. Sonya, the photographs you have brilliant, well done.

Adam Jones said...

A lovely series of the Jay. Not an easy bird to photograph as they are so easily frightened. Wonderful.

Mae Travels said...

Many species of jay are very shy — you are lucky to see and photograph these beautiful birds in your own space.

best… mae at

Sharon Wagner said...

The creative peek-a-boo shot is funny. :) Jays really are beautiful, underrated birds. Thanks for your heartwarming comment!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...