Jay: antacid medication

Quite often the first you know of a jay (Garrulus glandarius) being in the vicinity is the dreadful shreak they make. It is unmistakable and, if you are not expecting it, it can be a bit unnerving!
The jay is not an uncommon bird nationally but I rarely encounter them where I live here in the Purbeck area of Dorset. They are certainly seen less frequent here than elsewhere in Dorset but then, apart from the Wareham/Puddletown Forest area, I suppose we do not have that much suitable broad leaf woodland which is their main haunt.
Jays are well known for two things. Firstly, they like to roll around in a nest of wood ants so that the ants respond with a spray of formic acid which helps the jay remove parasites from their feathers. They are also great hoarders of nuts in the autumn to tide them over until spring comes.
Intellegent and good to look at but aggressive, bad tempered birds in general!
Jay: antacid medication

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