A photo by Ian Rose of a Jay within the branches of a tree faces away and to the left side showing the flash of blue on it's wing.


Garrulus glandarius

Key Facts

  • Length: 34cm
  • Wingspan: 55cm
  • Weight: 170g
  • Average lifespan: 4 years

Jays are brightly coloured crows that can be found in woodland, parks and gardens. Surprisingly shy, their screaming call is most likely to be heard as they fly between trees. You should watch out for a flash of a bright white rump.

Jays eat invertebrates, especially caterpillars and beetles, and are famous for enjoying acorns (and other nuts and fruits) during the autumn; they will cache their finds for later.

Jays are present all year-round, but are most obvious in autumn when they have to move about looking for winter supplies.

How to Identify

A brightly coloured crow, the Jay is unmistakable. It is mainly pinkish-buff, with a black tail, white rump, black ‘moustache’ and black and white wings that sport a brilliant blue patch.

Where to Find

Widespread, although absent from the north of Scotland.

How People Can Help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many woodland nature reserves sympathetically for all kinds of birds from Jays to Goldcrests, Nuthatches to Whitethroats. You can help too: volunteer for The Wildlife Trusts and you could be involved in everything from traditional forest crafts to raising awareness about birds.

Did you know?

Jays collect and bury acorns in the autumn ready for the winter ahead. Some of these acorns will be forgotten and grow into oak saplings and eventually trees.

Similar Species