|Blue Jay at the Inn on Mill Creek (August 2013)|
The Blue Jay is an easy bird to spot when you do happen to see one at the Inn. Blue, black, white and gray are their primary colors (white/light gray undersides and black and various blues on their backs and wings). They also have a mohawk-like crest, similar to the Northern Cardinal and the Tufted Titmouse. Interestingly, the Blue Jay's "blue" feathers are actually brown like the Indigo Bunting and the blue coloring is a function of light scattering through modified cells on the feather barbs' surfaces.
Blue Jays are not only easy to identify, but they are easy to hear and can be quite noisy. We like to say their volume control is stuck on "loud." In addition, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology notes that Blue Jays have an "immense vocabulary" and can mimic Red-tailed Hawks Red-shouldered Hawks and other species.
If you are at the Inn on Mill Creek, whether as a guest or as a visitor checking out birds on the North Carolina Birding Trail (we're a site in the trail's Mountains region), definitely let us know. And stay tuned to the blog this year to see what birds we'll be featuring.