The Jay is our most colourful member of the crow family (Corvidae). Like many other corvids, they can imitate and mimic other animals and sounds. Whilst quite shy, this bird also produces a rather loud scream earning it the Gaelic name of 'schreachag choille' or ‘screamer of the woods’. Acorns are a favourite food of the Jay and they stash these, burying them to form a food cache for the winter and following spring. In the autumn, a single Jay can store between six and ten thousand acorns in separate sites. There are about 170 thousand breeding pairs in Britain plus unmated and juvenile birds, meaning that over 4 million acorns are buried every year. Needless to say, they have exceptional memories but not all will be retrieved. It is for this reason that Jays are sometimes considered to play a crucial role in oak regeneration.
Awaiting [Seasonal patterns of food storing in the.pdf]