Have you ever taken a walk through the woods on a crisp fall or winter day and found that you were constantly assailed by the loud, raucous calls of blue jays? If you have, chances are you wondered if it was your imagination that these large, handsome birds seem to call more frequently at this time of the year than in spring and summer. The truth of the matter is blue jays do indeed call more often during autumn and winter.
I have long been aware of this fact. I first became aware of this when I found a blue jay nest near my home. Throughout their entire nesting period, I never heard a sound made by the nesting birds. However, during the fall, long after the blue jays had fledged their young, the jays living in that neck of the woods frequently called.
The reason for this is, if the jays regularly called near their nest, predators might be alerted to the fact that the birds are nesting somewhere close. This might prompt an avian or mammalian predator that might hunt for food elsewhere to focus its attention on the area where it frequently hears blue jays calling.
However, during the fall and winter when blue jays are spending most of their time roaming the woodlands looking for food, they routinely communicate with one another and other animals via their loud calls. In addition, during these feeding forays, should they encounter a hawk or other predator, they are quick to sound the alarm to any critter living nearby.