One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A bird of the crow family with boldly patterned plumage, typically having blue feathers in the wings or tail.
Family Corvidae: several genera and numerous species, in particular the Eurasian Garrulus glandarius, with a crest, mainly pinkish-brown plumage, and a harsh screech
- ‘Such avian predators as European jays and great-spotted woodpeckers cannot open the nest-boxes at the study area, whereas martens easily enter nest-boxes by removing the top.’
- ‘Anyone who has watched crows, jays, ravens and other members of the corvid family will know they're anything but ‘birdbrained.’’
- ‘The corvines - crows, rooks, jays, magpies and jackdaws - are relentless stealers of other birds' eggs and chicks.’
- ‘Blue jays prefer living in evergreen forests, but they can also be found in farmlands, groves, and suburbs.’
- ‘Blue jays are among the most colourful and intelligent back yard visitors.’
- ‘It has been estimated that a single jay could ‘plant’ up to 3000 acorns in a single month.’
- ‘Take a moment and picture what you expect to see: familiar trees and flowers, perhaps singing robins or squawking jays.’
- ‘Disturbance after eggs are laid provides opportunities for predation by carrion crows, jays, kestrels, magpies, foxes and mink.’
- ‘West Nile virus infects many different bird species, but it appears to be lethal to crows, jays, and hawks.’
- ‘A number of jays live in family groups, but sharing of cached food has not been demonstrated.’
2dated, informal A person who talks at length in a foolish or impertinent way.
Late 15th century: via Old French from late Latin gaius, gaia, perhaps from the Latin given name Gaius.
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