© Copyright: Images: Jari Peltomäki, Jouko Lehmuskallio, Kari Pihlaviita, M. & W. von Wright: Svenska fåglar (Kansalliskirjasto, The National Library of Finland). Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.
- Name also: Eurasian Jay
- Family: Crows – Corvidae
- Appearance: An almost Jackdaw-sized, mainly pinkish grey-brown member of the crow family. Rump, vent and throat white. White patches also visible on wings, behind patches marked with blue, black and white stripes. Black moustache extending behind beak also conspicuous.
- Size: Length 32–35 cm, wingspan 54–58 cm, weight 140–185 g.
- Nest: Usually in a conifer at a height of 1.5–9 metres, made of birch twigs piled up loosely and lined inside with root fibres.
- Breeding: 4–9 eggs laid April–May, incubated by female for 16–18 days. Fledglings remain in nest for 19–22 days, and then stay close to their parents for about three weeks.
- Distribution: Common breeder particularly in spruce forests in Southern and Central Finland, rarer further north but breeds as far north as Northern Ostrobothnia. Finnish breeding population estimated at 120,000–160,000 pairs.
- Migration: Sedentary, but may be seen moving around during September–October.
- Diet: Omnivorous.
- Calls: A loud, harsh screech, most typical, but also makes other calls, and is a good mimic.
- Endangerment: Near threatened, protected.
Jays are members of the crow family, about the same size as Jackdaws. Their colouring is mainly pinkish grey-brown, with distinctive bright blue, black and white patches on their wing coverts. Their tails are mainly black with a bright white rump. They also have conspicuous moustache-like markings behind their beaks, and streaked bushy crests. Their wing feathers are mainly black, with white edges, and their secondaries have a white patch at the base. Jays have pale brown legs, black beaks and blue and white irises.