Here’s a little snippet from her, so you know what it’s all about:
“Corvids are birds belonging to the Corvidae family, encompassing ravens, crows, magpies, jays and nutcrackers. So peruse your corvid photo, poetry, music and story archives and join the challenge.
You can participate in the Corvid-2020 Weekly Challenge by creating a pingback to this post (my pingback approval settings are set up for manual approval, so it may take a little while for your pingback to appear) and/or by leaving a hyperlink to your submission in the comments. Tag your post Corvid-2020 or C20WC. I really do hope you will join in.”
Today’s response to her challenge shows you the Eurasian jay, or “Eichelhaeher” as it is called in German.
The Eurasian jay was one of the many species originally described by Linnaeus in his 18th century work Systema Naturae. He recognised its affinity with other corvids, naming it Corvus glandarius. The current scientific name is from Latin; Garrulus means noisy or chattering, and glandarius is “of acorns”, a favoured food.
A member of the widespread jay group, it inhabits mixed woodland, particularly with oaks, and is a habitual acorn hoarder.
In recent years, the bird has begun to migrate into urban areas, possibly as a result of continued erosion of its woodland habitat. Before humans began planting the trees commercially on a wide scale, Eurasian jays were the main source of movement and propagation for the European oak (Q. robur), each bird having the ability to spread more than a thousand acorns each year(!).
Jays have been recorded carrying single acorns as far as 20 km, and are credited with the rapid northward spread of oaks following the last ice age.
Its usual call is the alarm call which is a harsh, rasping screech and is used upon sighting various predatory animals, but the jay is well known for its mimicry, often sounding so like a different species that it is virtually impossible to distinguish its true identity unless the jay is seen.
One of my favorite authors of children’s fiction, Cornelia Funke, nicknamed one of the characters of her Inkheart trilogy (Mo Folchart, Meggie’s father) after this striking looking bird with its magical blue feathers, which I particularly liked.
If you haven’t read the books, I can very much recommend them – don’t worry, they have been translated in English, so no need to learn German. 😉