On any given day, nearly anywhere in North America, you might see a flash of blue and then several other flashes flying in the same direction. When they land, the flashes sit in an oak tree chattering to each other noisily. Each is a brilliant blue with black and white feather markings and large crests on their heads. One dives to the ground, snatches up an acorn, and zips off. His disgruntled companions follow close behind, angrily calling to him, but he pays no attention. Finally, he lands in another tree and holds the acorn with one of his tiny feet. Pounding hard on it with his beak, he cracks the acorn. Just as he is about to eat its scrumptious meat, the acorn is snatched away and the chase is on again, this time after another of these birds.
These acorn obsessed creatures are cyanocitta cristata – or blue jays.
Notorious for their bossy attitude, blue jays hoard food to a ridiculous degree, often hiding their food and then forgetting where they hid it. While the jays are omnivorous, most of the food that they bury is seeds of some sort – acorns, sunflower seeds, walnuts, chestnuts, corn, apple cores and much more. As a result of their forgetfulness, many new trees and flowers have been planted. Some accredit blue jays for entire forests, but the birds are not that scatterbrained.
Even though they are hostile to all birds, including those in their own flock or family, blue jays form exceptionally strong familial ties and often travel in small flocks consisting of one or more different families. They do as they please, and as a result, they have no real migrating pattern. While they might migrate one year, a family may decide that they do not want to the next. Often, they imitate the calls of hawks just because they can.
Blue jays are very beautiful birds. They are agile and graceful, able to fly almost vertically into trees. Their bright blue stands out on the drabbest of days as well as the most vivid. I suppose the Lord wanted to throw a crazy bird into the mix when He made blue jays. He gave them a very distinctive personality and plumage. And to think that He cares for all of them and also for me… well, it gives me goose-bumps and a smile whenever I see one of these fussy birds.
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. – Luke 12:6