The Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius) is called jay, without any epithets, by English speakers in Great Britain and Ireland. It is the original 'jay' after which all others are named. Across its vast range, several very distinct racial forms have evolved to look very different from each other, especially when forms at the extremes of its range are compared.

Habitat and Distribution

This bird occurs over a vast region from Western Europe and north-west Africa to the Indian Subcontinent and further to the eastern seaboard of Asia and down into south-east Asia. The Jay inhabits mixed woodland, particularly with oaks, and is an habitual acorn hoarder. In recent years, the bird has begun to migrate into urban areas, possibly as a result of continued erosion of its woodland habitat.


Feeding in both trees and on the ground, it takes a many invertebrates such as pest insects, acorns (oak seeds, which it buries for use during winter), beech mast and other seeds, fruits such as blackberries, young birds and eggs,bats, and small rodents.


It nests in trees or large shrubs laying usually 4-6 eggs that hatch after 16-19 days and are fledged generally after 21-23 days. Both sexes typically feed the young.

Calls and Songs

Its usual call is the alarm call which is a harsh, rasping screech and is used upon sighting various predatory animals.