a stunning bluejay resting in a tree

A Male Blue Jay resting in a tree. 

The Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) resting on a branch. For me, there have been several birds that have been rather elusive to capture. The Blue Jay is one of those elusive
birds. The black vulture is another. It never seems to fail that when I do see one I do not have my camera with me. However on this day, surprisingly enough I did have the camera with me and was able to pull off one shot before this blue jay disappeared into the woods once again. This image was taken in West Virginia.

I have learned many valuable experiences. The first is:

The image you are searching for will always present itself when you do not have your camera with you so if you are out you may as well make sure you have your camera with you. I cannot count how many blue jays I saw when my camera was at home.

The second is always have your longest and best lens at hand when out there is nothing worse than finding the subject that you really wanted to capture but cannot get close enough either physically or with your zoom to draw the subject into the frame the way you like.

With bigger subjects, you can use photoshop to crop and draw the subject in. With smaller subjects such as the blue jay drawing in an animal that is small leaves to blurry images no matter how hard you try to isolate the subject. Using a sharp mask does not really help with smaller subjects.

At any rate, any time you outdoors have the potential to be a photo opportunity or photo shoot. Use your time wisely, keep your eyes open, life is happening all around you. It is our job as a photographer to capture those moments.

The Blue Jay is a bird that is surrounded in myth in the Southern United States which, other than its bright colors, is my attraction to this bird. In African American folklore, the Blue Jay is the handmaiden or servant of the devil. The bird brought sticks from the Earth to Hell and on Friday be it was never seen but would chirp ecstatically on Saturdays after being released from Hell back to return to earth. Although we all know this is folklore I found it interesting that one group would depict such a bird in this way, however that’s why they call if folklore.

Many also believe that the Blue Jays prime diet is eggs from other birds or their fledglings. While they may occasionally consume eggs or eat fledglings of other birds this is not the primary source of their nutrition. Blue Jay’s diet primarily consists of nuts and seeds, small invertebrates of various kinds, fruits, and berries.

Overall Blue Jays are not as aggressive as other birds of the same size and category and are regularly chased away from bird feeders and other such places by more aggressive birds of the same size. They’re blue, in its many tones is just stunning. If you see a Blue Jay, you have seen a Blue Jay there are not many other birds in the world that come close to in color, size or plumage.

Happy shooting…..

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Author: Chris Flees

I am an artist, art promoter, and art marketing professional who specializes and blogs primarily about art topics and the "behind the scenes" of my subject and images. Occasionally I blog about Christian topics.