Garrulus glandarius


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 - 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 in the open more often, looking for acorns, beechmast and hazelnuts.

How to identify

A brightly coloured crow, the Jay is unmistakeable. 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 it

Widespread, although absent from the north of Scotland.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people 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.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Garrulus glandarius
Crows and shrikes
Length: 34cm Wingspan: 55cm Weight: 170g Average Lifespan: 4 years
Conservation status