Date: 4/1/21 5:17 am
From: Jon Woolf <jsw...>
Subject: Re: [NHBirds] Blue jay call question
Hi Duane,

At 08:49 PM 3/31/2021, 'Duane Cross' via NHBirds wrote:

My wife and I take a 6 mile walk everyday out into Lyman and back.
Yesterday on our return trip we heard a Red-tail hawk doing the
scream call that they often make when startled into flight. It was
close by and coming from a nearby tree. After a bit of searching
the tree I noticed that the call was being made by a Blue jay. A
short while later he flew off still vocalizing the hawk call. I
know that Blue jays have a large call vocabulary but was unaware
that they had the ability to mimic other bird's calls. Has anyone
else experienced this before. It's a first for me despite having
many Blue jays coming to my feeders.
Duane Cross .


Blue Jays are notorious for imitating Red-shouldered and Red-tailed
hawk calls. I've heard some people say that they do it to scare other
birds away from a food source, like a bird feeder, but I don't know
how much truth there is in that. I do know I've heard them imitating
hawks more than once. Last year I also heard one that seemed to be
trying to imitate a duck - a Mallard's quacking, to be exact.

-- Jon Woolf
Manchester, NH

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