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July 4, 2022

Blue Jays Show Their True Colors

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From My Modern Met:

"Adolescent" blue jays (Cyanocitta cristata) are captured transitioning from their fluffy gray baby feathers to sporting vibrant blue adult plumage.

This is a normal stage in developing blue jays.

Once they grow out their distinctive blue crests, they will continue to go through plumage changes throughout life.

Blue jays molt annually: they undergo a complete change of feathers every June/July.

Despite the species' appearance and name, blue jays are not actually blue.

Their vibrant cobalt color is an illusion created by refraction and the unique inner structure of their feathers.

The overlaid plumage distorts the reflection of light, making it look blue.

Without direct light, the blue is no longer reflected and the natural brown color of the feathers is revealed.

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Wait a sec — what's that song I'm hearing?

July 4, 2022 at 10:01 AM | Permalink


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