We’re seeing more Blue Jays here than last year. One bird expert attributes this to a local increase in acorns.
These birds do not appear blue due to their pigmentation; they’re blue to us due to the refraction of light by the structure of their feathers. That is, if you ground the feathers of a Blue Jay, you’d get a dull pile of brown, not one of sparkling blue. As to the “Jay” part of its name, some research finds that it’s a carryover from “Jai,” the Old French name for “gay” or “merry” given to some birds that the English later called “Jays.” (Brooklin, Maine)