Outdoor Radio: Blue Jays, "Engineers Of The Forest"

Mar 12, 2020

Blue jays are pretty common. We see them all the time, and yet, they still have mysteries to share with us. Blue jays are also known as the "engineers of the forest." Their diet consists of acorns and beech nuts and they take these seeds to new areas and cache, or bury, their food. Sometimes they forget to come back to get these stored nuts and seeds allowing them to grow. The birds are planting new trees and expanding the forest.

In this episode of Outdoor Radio, Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra begin on a carriage road in middle of the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller  National Historical Park looking for blue jays. These birds migrate south for the winter, sometimes. When there is an abundant source of food, like there is this year, the jays are likely to stay in Vermont. Learn how many acorns a blue jay can carry in their throat pouch and discover that, despite their name, they aren't actually blue.

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Outdoor Radio is produced in collaboration with the Vermont Center For Ecostudies.