Date: 4/1/21 5:55 am
From: Jim Guion <jim_guion...>
Subject: Re: [NHBirds] Blue jay call question
Several years ago, here in Arlington, MA, I head a Northern Mockingbird singing, but something about its 'tone' didn't seem quite right. I tracked it down and it was a Blue Jay imitating a Northern Mockinbird!

Jim Guion
Arlington, MA

________________________________
From: <nhbirds...> <nhbirds...> on behalf of Jon Woolf <jsw...>
Sent: Thursday, April 1, 2021 8:16 AM
To: <duaneups...> <duaneups...>; NHBirds Group <nhbirds...>; Ellyn Tighe <etdvm...>
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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