585. THE JAY.
Garrulus glandarius (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 156 (1706) ; (Naum.) ii. p. 122, Taf. 58, fig. 1 ; Hewitson, i. p. 237, pl. lx. fig. 1 ; Gould, B. of E. iii. p. 214 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. iii. pl. 64 ; Newton, ii. p. 323 ; Dresser, iv. p. 481, pl. 254 ; Sharpe Cat. B. Br. Mus. iii. p. 93 ; Saunders, p. 235 ; Lilford, ii. p. 60. pl. 26.
Geai ordinaire, French ; Gaio, Portug. ; Arrendajo, Cabezon, Span. : Ghiandaja, Ital. ; Nussheher, Eichelhcher, German ; Vlaamsche Gaai, Dutch ; Skovskade Dan. ; Noeddesk, Norweg. ; Notskrika, Swed. ; Hohkanarhi, Paskanarhi, Finn. ; Soika, Russ.
Male ad. (Denmark). Crown crested, whitish striped with black ; upper parts light brownish vinous washed with grey on the back ; under parts buffy white, flanks reddish ; rump, upper tail-coverts, vent, and under tail-coverts white ; tail and quills black, secondaries with a white patch on the basal half of the outer web, the innermost chestnut with a black patch at the tip ; secondaries barred with black, white, and blue ; a long black patch below the eye ; bill blackish brown ; legs light reddish brown ; iris bluish white. Culmen 1.5, wing 7.2, tail 6.5, tarsus 1.5 inch. The female and young resemble the male but are duller in colour.
Hab. The whole of Europe up to about 64o N. Lat., east to the Ural, and south to the Mediterranean.
In its habits it is wary and shy, and frequents wooded country, gardens, hedgerows, etc. In the summer it feeds on fruit, mice, birds’-eggs, young birds, and even on frogs, and in the winter on nuts, acorns, berries, larvae, worms, and snails. Its note is a harsh, discordant cry resembling the syllables raatsch ratsch and rraa, and it is an excellent mimic.
Its nest, which is usually placed on a high bush or a tree generally close to the stem, is a somewhat bulky structure of sticks and twigs, neatly finished inside, and lined with rootlets and dried grass. The eggs, 5 to 6, sometimes 7 in number, are usually deposited in April or May, and are greyish white or greenish grey thickly speckled with pale brown and in some the markings are collected round the larger end. In size they measure about 1.21 by 0.92.
585. Garrulus glandarius
585. THE JAY.