Known by their fruits - geograph.org.uk - 183526



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Source page: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blue_jay_flight.jpg
Description So far this is the best I have been able to get. These guys are fast. This is my 3rd try today. For those that have well focused images of these birds I commend you.
 some interesting facts are,,,,

The Blue jay belongs to a family of birds that has been found in fossils more than 25 million years old.

 appears to have vivid blue feathers—but the color is actually a trick of the light.
sometimes applies ants to the undersides of its wings.
  The Blue Jay’s scientific name is derived from Greek and Latin words and means, in reverse order, "crested, blue chattering bird,"
 The Blue Jay’s vivid cobalt or azure-blue tail and wing feathers make an exotic contrast against brown leaves or green grass. However, these feathers are not truly blue. Blue pigment is unknown in birds. The Blue Jay’s feather color results from refraction, or distortion, of light by a peculiar inner structure of the feather substance. If the feather is crushed, the blue color disappears.
 During  moulting, or feather-shedding, period Blue Jays may be seen anting, a term referring to a bird using ants or materials that the ants expel from their bodies for preening, or tidying their feathers. Excited anting birds often trip over their own tails in frantic efforts to apply ants with their bill to the underside of their wings. A recent theory suggests that this peculiar behavior results from skin irritation caused by new feather growth. Possibly ant excretions have a soothing effect on the bird’s skin. Birds have been known to use a wide variety of substitute materials such as fruits, tobacco, mustard, and vinegar for anting. One observer who kept tame Blue Jays had a bird that anted with "various bitter, sour fruit juices and hair tonic"; a second jay anointed itself only with the hair tonic. Another person had a captive Blue Jay that applied burning cigarettes to its feathers! This strange behavior requires further study.

I am not a rocket scientist when it comes to birds or digital photos but I wonder if this light refraction makes this more in flight more difficult. I have seen the came issues when trying to catch black birds in flight.
Date 6 July 2008(2008-07-06), 10:34:57
Source Flickr: blue jay flight
Author Willie Lunchmeat
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