Backyard Wildlife: Blue Jay

Posted on November 8, 2015  Comments (6)

photo of a blue jay with a berry in its beak

Blue Jay in Arlington, Virginia (in my backyard). See more of my photos.

This is a picture I simply could not have taken before I bought my new camera (a Canon PowerShot SX60 HS Digital Camera with 65 times optical zoom). Birds are still hard to photograph but now at least occasionally I get a decent photo of birds. If you want to get photos of wildlife it is a great camera. And it is a wonderful camera in general.

I like just planting things that will feed and shelter birds (and others) rather than filling bird feeders myself. There is information on how to use your backyard to promote wildlife. I see many birds flying around in my backyard, which is quite nice. Blue jays are some of my favorites.

Blue jays diet is composed mostly of insects and nuts. They especially like acorns.

Young jays may be more likely to migrate than adults, but many adults also migrate. Some individual jays migrate south one year, stay north the next winter, and then migrate south again the next year. No one has worked out why they migrate when they do.

The pigment in blue jay feathers is melanin, which is brown. The blue color is caused by scattering light through modified cells on the surface of the feather barbs.

Related: Backyard Wildlife: Robins Attack Holly TreeBackyard Wildlife: BirdsBackyard Wildlife: CrowsBackyard Wildlife: FoxBackyard Wildlife: Chimpmunk

6 Responses to “Backyard Wildlife: Blue Jay”

  1. Paul Sheldon
    November 9th, 2015 @ 10:14 am

    Very good photo John. I’m a bit jealous!! Depth of field is good with the bird and branch it is on standing out from the foreground and background. Considering the “grab shot” nature of these photos, very good indeed.

  2. curiouscat
    November 9th, 2015 @ 10:32 am

    Thanks. Mainly it is the 65x optical zoom of my camera. I leave all settings automatic, almost always.

    My main trick/technique for getting birds, animals, bugs… is to take several photos. In this instance I had 4, 2 of which the focus wasn’t really good – and then this one and one more that was focused a bit more down of the birds feathers so the head was a tiny bit out of focus (but it was still pretty good).

    I guess one other trick is to leave the frame bigger than I really want because I can then zoom in by cropping the photos as I want. This was much more important with my last camera (it was nearly impossible to zoom in for birds. With this one I can zoom in and still do very well, but leaving it a bit un-zoomed helps get better photos I think.

    With bugs I use the zoom partially because it helps to zoom to get the image from further away but also because it creates neat depth of field quite often (sometimes I could get really close and shot without zoom but the depth of field isn’t so nice).

  3. ahmedmanoo
    November 23rd, 2015 @ 11:48 am

    It’s really a wonderful picture

  4. Anonymous
    November 27th, 2015 @ 12:27 pm

    the right moment when taking pictures of birds carrying food. I love birds, and I also like people who take pictures of it. good job.

  5. Anonymous
    December 20th, 2015 @ 9:53 am

    great photo!i am also an wildlife photographer.the depth of field in this photo is great.want more photos like this from you in future.

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