Jay in the garden

Eurasian Jays are said to be shy woodland birds rarely moving far from cover. But in winter there’s a much better chance of seeing them. This one was in the old apple tree in our garden, staying for a while to be surreptitiously photographed through the window.

Prettier than the much more visible crows and magpies, to which they are related.


English jays are usually careful to stay hidden, unlike their black crow cousins and magpies. This one stayed around on the grass at Anderton Country Park just long enough to take a photograph before he flew off.


These are also known as ‘brown jays’ or ‘old world jays’ to distinguish them from more colourful variants, such as the American blue jay.

Jay encounter

Walking home laden with shopping the other day, I was aware enough to notice a Jay standing by the side of the path, almost within touching distance. I crouched to get a closer look, and still it stayed there. Now, Jays, or Eurasian Jays are usually very shy birds, so this seemed unusual. There did not appear to be anything physically wrong with the bird. What to do? Usual advice is to leave them alone if not in immediate danger, so I did.

Too good an opportunity not to take a photo with my phone. Seeing this, the bird ran away a short distance, so probably not much wrong with it. It was still not too far away to get a reasonable shot with my rather ordinary phone camera.

Given the time of year, the obvious conclusion is that this is a young Jay, maybe on its first real flight, and maybe in some sort of slightly shocked state due to its experience, maybe due to traffic on the nearby road.