This audio story is brought to you by BirdNote, a partner of The National Audubon Society. BirdNote episodes air daily on public radio stations nationwide.
This is BirdNote.
If we had to pick one bird’s voice to symbolize our Eastern woodlands, the Blue Jay’s voice would likely be it. Its familiar calls ring year-round through deciduous forests east of the Rockies.
And as a frequent visitor to back yards and bird feeders, the Blue Jay is among the most widely recognized birds of the region. As well as one of the most colorful: its upperparts glint bright blue from the tip of the tail to the peak of its stylish crest.
Nearly a foot long, Blue Jays can be loud and assertive when they approach a bird feeder, pushing smaller songbirds aside. But when nesting, the same jays can be as stealthy and quiet as the most expert ninjas, sneaking to and from their nests with uncanny secrecy.
And as familiar as the typical call might be, these birds are immensely creative vocalists, with a large vocabulary of other calls, including piping notes, rattles, and astute mimicry of birds of prey, such as the Red-shouldered Hawk.
To see a photo of this bird, and all we feature on the show, come to our website birdnote.org.
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York.
Call of Blue Jay  recorded by G.A. Keller; piping notes of Blue Jay  by R.S. Little; “rattles” of Blue Jay  by W.L. Hershberger; mimic of Red-shouldered Hawk [13448 after 1:35] by R.S. Little.
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.