Instagram | @mundo_animal_____

The Beautiful Feathers Of The Common Blue Jay Are Anything But Common

I spend a lot of time featuring animals from exotic places, where only those lucky enough to live or travel there can appreciate them in person.

With more time spent at home lately, I've been learning to appreciate the local wildlife more.

And seriously, blue jays are really pretty.

Reddit | WinterDog_SummerBird

I guess when you see them all the time, you stop realizing how special they are.

It also doesn't help that their song is on the annoying side of bird calls and they're kind of jerks.

At least, to other birds.

If you have a friendly neighbor blue jay, sometimes they can be quite docile with humans and allow you to look at those gorgeous tail feathers up close.

Though their heads and backs are a softer blue, it's the wings and tail that really shine.

instagram | @stefanoianiromedia

And you know what's crazy?

There's no blue pigment in a blue jay's feathers. The feathers are physically brown due to a high concentration of melanin.

In fact, there are very few truly blue things in nature. Usually, it's actually reflected light.

Instagram | @life.adventure.exposure

The structure of the jays' wings causes light to scatter, soaking up most of it and reflecting only the blue wavelength. It's similar to the way sunlight scatters in the sky to become blue.

Pretty cool, right?

Instagram | @bryanpollardphotography

Blue Jays are common throughout most of the central and eastern United States, as well as much of southern Canada. They also tend to linger closer to home year-round, so you can often enjoy their beautiful blues all winter long.

h/t: All About Birds