The Acorn Hoarder

For a bird that is so “colourful and noisy” as the jay you won’t see one very often at all. They live in mixed woodland especially with oak trees, which provide their favourite food – acorns. One bird will hoard up to 5,000 in a year, most of which they find again, being like all the crow family highly intelligent and having an excellent spatial memory for where they hid them. Inevitably though, there are a few which they miss and these go on to be the mighty oaks and spreading forests of the future!

I did hear a group of jays a month or so ago along the hedgerow and trees where the swampy reedy area used to be, making a great commotion, chasing each other all around, into the “scrub” fields and back, but how many there are altogether living in the park is anyone’s guess. Keep an eye out for this usually secretive bird. More information on its habits here from the Natural History Museum website. Amongst their many talents jays are also extremely convincing mimics too, apparently.

Local wildlife photographer David James recently made a lovely short video showing a jay recovering one of its acorns in Bradlaugh Fields, which you can watch on Youtube.


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