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Help with identifying dead bird, please?

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924606.  Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:36 am Reply with quote

Bemahub spotted this in London today.
Any ideas as to what it is, or rather was, please? My best guess so far is that someone's lost their fascinator on the way home from a good night out. I can think of a blue jay but they live in the USA. Could it be a merlin?

924611.  Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:51 am Reply with quote

Its a Jay (Garrulus* glandarius), or Eurasian Jay, which is in the crow family. Not a Blue Jay, as you rightly say we don't have them in the UK.

I found one in a similar condition the other week and have a nice collection of shiny feathers from it.

*Also used to mean chatty, gabby, pointlessly noisy, trivial, rambling etc.

924615.  Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:56 am Reply with quote

Thanks Starfish. I know what jays look like from a distance but hadn't realised the colours were so bright. What a shame it came a cropper. Don't they usually hang around in pairs? If so its partner must be missing it.

924618.  Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:10 am Reply with quote

We have lots of them at one of our sites, as acorns are one of their preferred food, and they are startlingly bright. A small child once told me about a "parrot" that she saw in our woods.

Birdlife doesn't specify for a Jay, but most corvids are socially monogamous*. It is very common for birds to form exclusive pair-bonds, and very unlikely for mammals to do so.

*Social monogamy however is not a guarantee of sexual monogamy, and many species that are socially monogamous will also undertake extra-pair copulation when they have the opportunity.


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