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.
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘It has been estimated that a single jay could ‘plant’ up to 3000 acorns in a single month.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Blue jays are among the most colourful and intelligent back yard visitors.’
- ‘Anyone who has watched crows, jays, ravens and other members of the corvid family will know they're anything but ‘birdbrained.’’
- ‘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.’
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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