This section is from the book "The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation", by George Abbey. Also available from Amazon: The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation.
The Jay (Garrulus glandarius), included in the Corvidae or Crows as a sub-family named Garrulinae, is of a light brown inclining to red colour, whilst the primary wing feathers are of a brilliant blue, marked out by bands of black. The forehead crest is composed of white feathers with black spots, and there are black patches below the eyes, whilst the quill feathers in the wing and tail are coloured jet black. No wonder, therefore, that the plumage of the jay is esteemed for "bird millinery." The nest of the jay is generally built on low trees or shrubs about 20 ft. from the ground, a thick bush being preferred. The eggs are five or six in number, yellowish-white and thickly speckled with brown. The jay is of a timid, restless habit, inhabiting woods, and feeds upon worms, snails, cockchafers and other insects - their larvae and pupae, and it is said mice, eggs, and young of feathered game. It also feeds upon wild fruits, including acorns and beech-mast, and at times is very destructive to peas in gardens.
Taken young, the jay is easily tamed, and is very amusing when domesticated, the bird possessing considerable talents for mimicry, frequently being taught to articulate words.