Baby Blue Jays: All You Need to Know

Baby Blue Jays in the wild

If you are among the many people who love observing birds, then you may have already heard of baby Blue Jays. Unlike their adult counterparts, these young avians are not as colorful.

In addition, they still have to go through several stages of development before they become fully grown. Yet, this does not mean that they are less interesting to watch.

In this article, you’ll find all the info you need about baby Blue Jays. You’ll learn what they look like at different ages, where they can be found in the wild, how long it takes them to mature, and more!

What Is a Baby Blue Jay Called?

Baby Blue Jays in their nest

In contrast to many other avians, a baby Blue Jay does not have a specific name. Instead, it’s called a “hatchling,” which is a term used for any young bird that is not yet able to fly.

As the Blue Jay baby matures, however, it becomes a “nestling,” then a “fledgling,” and finally a “juvenile” before it reaches adulthood.

What Does a Baby Blue Jay Look Like?

Baby Blue Jay asking for food

Upon birth, a baby Blue Jay is altricial, which means it’s tiny, featherless, and blind. It can’t fly or even stay alive without its mother.

As it transitions into the nestling stage, however, you can expect that the young Blue Jay will sprout its first actual feathers. These are mainly gray in color but with hints of pink or yellow on their underside.

Interestingly, even though nestlings begin to develop feathers, their eyes remain closed, opening only 4 to 5 days after hatching.

When they reach the fledgling phase, baby Blue Jays start to look like their grown-up peers. Their appearance turns fluffy, and they gradually grow the iconic blue plumage that makes this species so recognizable.

However, note that it’s during the juvenile period that they most closely resemble adults. While their blue hue is a bit dull, and their bellies are still gray instead of white, they’re almost the spitting image of their parents.

Baby Blue Jay Pictures and Videos

For those who are curious about the early stages of a Blue Jay’s life, this part is a visual treat for you. Here, you’ll find captivating pictures and videos of baby Blue Jays as they grow and mature.

The first clip is of a Blue Jay baby that was rescued after falling from its nest:

Bird's the Word- Rescuing a baby blue jay that fell from its nest.

The following is a photo of a mother and father feeding their Blue Jay hatchlings:

A mother and father feeding their Blue Jay hatchlings

Additionally, below is a video that shows a group of Blue Jay nestlings:

Next is an adorable image of a Blue Jay fledgling eating a worm:

Blue Jay fledgling eating a worm

Meanwhile, here’s a picture of another Blue Jay fledgling perched on a branch:

Blue Jay fledgling perched on a branch

Finally, the following is a photo that should give you an idea of what a juvenile Blue Jay looks like:

Juvenile Blue Jay up close

As a bonus, the video below shows baby Blue Jays going through an amazing transformation from hatchlings to juveniles:

As you can see from the photos and videos above, Blue Jay babies are a lot of fun to watch. They’re full of energy and curiosity, which makes them so charming.

How Do You Tell How Old a Baby Blue Jay Is?

Telling the age of a baby Blue Jay bird is mostly about appearance. For one, if it’s still featherless or has bald patches, you’re looking at a hatchling.

Meanwhile, a baby Blue Jay with fluffy gray feathers is a nestling. On the other hand, those with hints of blue feathers are fledglings.

Finally, if the young avian flaunts the blue plumage of an adult but still has some immature features and seems pale, then it’s a juvenile Blue Jay.

How Big Is a Baby Blue Jay?

Baby Blue Jay perched on a tree

A baby Blue Jay is pretty small at first. Upon hatching, it only measures around two inches. Yet, by the fifth day, anticipate that its size will increase to approximately three inches.

However, note that as this young bird matures, it will expand significantly. To be specific, an adult Blue Jay stretches between 9 and 12 inches in length, boasting a wingspan ranging from 13 to 17 inches.

How Much Do Baby Blue Jays Weigh?

When a baby Blue Jay first hatches, it weighs only about 0.19 ounces. However, as it quickly grows over the initial five days, its weight rises substantially, landing somewhere between 0.70 and 0.99 ounces.

Eventually, as it reaches adulthood, the young Blue Jay settles into a weight range of 2.47 to 3.53 ounces, which is comparable to other types of Jays.

How Long Do Baby Blue Jays Stay With Their Parents?

Baby Blue Jay communicating with its mother

Generally, baby Blue Jays exhibit a considerable degree of familial loyalty. 

After hatching, they fledge and are ready to leave the nest within 17 to 21 days. Yet, despite this rapid transition, they stay close, lingering near their parents for about 2 to 3 more months.

In fact, even when they’ve completely left the nest, these young birds maintain connections with their mother and father, which can last for as long as a year or longer.

What Do Baby Blue Jays Eat?

Baby Blue Jays have a varied diet, primarily consuming what their parents bring to the nest. These offerings include seeds, insects, and grains, which are all rich in protein.

As they grow, however, they also develop a taste for fruits and vegetables, such as berries, acorns, grapes, apples, cherries, and beechnuts.

Apart from these, they might sometimes feast on small animals like rodents, frogs, and snails, further showcasing their diverse palate.

How Do Blue Jays Feed Their Babies?

Baby Blue Jay waiting for food from its mother

Feeding their babies involves a meticulous process for Blue Jays. For harder meals, they partially regurgitate the materials to facilitate easier ingestion for their young.

Furthermore, to ensure that their babies can consume bigger pieces of food, Blue Jays tear the large part into smaller, manageable bits before placing it in their beaks.

In this video, you can watch a parent Blue Jay feeding its fledgling:

Watch a baby blue jay getting fed

How Rare Is It to See a Baby Blue Jay?

Spotting a baby Blue Jay is not an uncommon occurrence. In particular, Blue Jays frequently nest in various locations ranging from deciduous trees to buildings and even telephone poles.

However, note that these nests are typically perched 10 to 25 feet above the ground, making them inaccessible to the casual observer.

How Many Babies Do Blue Jays Have?

Blue Jay eggs in a nest

Blue Jays have a notable reproductive pattern. As a matter of fact, the number of eggs laid by a female in a single brood varies between 2 and 7, though a clutch size of 4 to 5 is more commonly observed.

Another interesting thing about Blue Jays is their lifelong commitment to their mates — they’re monogamous.

Hence, you can be sure that once the season of having babies comes around again, the same male and female pair will be back together to make another brood.

Can Baby Blue Jays Fly?

Generally speaking, baby Blue Jays, like many young birds, aren’t ready to take to the skies immediately after hatching. Their initial days are spent developing and maturing in the safety of their nest.

However, bear in mind that as they continue to grow and gain strength, their ability to fly will slowly arise.

When Can Baby Blue Jays Fly?

Baby Blue Jays in a tree

Several years ago, I had the privilege of rearing a rescued Blue Jay egg in a wildlife rehabilitation center. As the days went by, the tiny creature inside emerged, and I was captivated by its growth.

By the third week, I observed the baby Blue Jay keenly fluttering its wings, hinting at its budding desire to fly. Yet, it wasn’t until about 26 days post-hatching that the little bird took its first confident flight.

What Should You Do If You Find a Baby Blue Jay?

If you happen to stumble upon a baby Blue Jay that has been abandoned by its parents, you should do your best to ensure its safety and well-being. Below are some tips on what to do if you find one:

  • Observe first: Before rushing to help, spend some time watching from a distance. Sometimes, the parents are nearby and will return to care for the baby Blue Jay. In short, immediate interference might not always be needed.
  • Safety measures: After watching for a while, if you realize the baby Blue Jay is indeed alone, scoop it gently with a towel, glove, or soft cloth. Once safely held, inspect it for any injuries, remaining as calm as possible to minimize stress on the bird.
  • Prepare a makeshift nest: In case the original nest is destroyed or unreachable, you can create a substitute using a small container filled with soft materials like tissues, twigs, or leaves. Then, place the baby bird inside and put it near where you found it.
  • Contact wildlife rehabilitators: Your final and perhaps most crucial step is to call a local wildlife rehabilitator. They have the expertise to help the baby bird recover so it can eventually be released back into its natural habitat.

Remember, the welfare of the poor baby Blue Jay is the top priority, so always act with its best interests in mind.

How to Take Care of a Baby Blue Jay

Baby Blue Jay held by human hand

If you find a baby Blue Jay — and the wildlife rehabilitator or rescue center you’re in contact with cannot respond immediately — you may have to do the initial care until help arrives. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Keep it warm: Hatchling Blue Jays cannot yet regulate their body heat like adults. Thus, place the baby bird in a box with a soft cloth and provide warmth using a gentle heating pad. However, make sure it’s not too hot to avoid any harm.
  • Provide appropriate food: A young Blue Jay primarily feeds on insects, fruits, and seeds. So, offer them tiny bits of these while you wait. Do avoid giving them human food, though.
  • Limit human interaction: It’s tempting to keep checking, but the Blue Jay baby is best left undisturbed. Note that too much contact can stress the bird, which can then lead to additional problems.
  • Consult experts: Even as you wait, keep in touch with wildlife experts or rehabilitators. They can offer advice and ensure you’re giving the baby Blue Jay the most suitable interim care.

Looking after a baby Blue Jay necessitates a careful approach where its safety is prioritized. By following the above steps, you help ensure that the young bird has a fighting chance to thrive in the wild.

We hope this article made you more aware of everything you need to know about baby Blue Jays! Let us know your thoughts about these admirable baby birds in the comments! Feel free to ask your questions, as well!

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