An Acorn Hoarder

three stages of the drawing of a Jay using coloured pencils.
Different stages in the drawing with the final version on the right

Once again I used Faber-Castell polychromos pencils. They are my favourites.

We have a lot of Jays in the woods where we walk each day. Now the leaves have dropped we see them much more often. You can always tell them as there is a flash of blue and then white as they fly away.  They also have a strange strangled croak so you can still tell when they are around.

A Jay stocking up  on acorns
Collecting acorns in our garden

They are great hoarders of acorns and it has been a very good (mast) year for acorns here. Their relationship with oak trees is reflected in their scientific name Garrulus glandarius. The second part is derived from the Latin for acorn.

An individual Jay may hoard as many as 3,000 acorns and these will provide the bird with food over the coming months. Jays have an amazing ability to recall the location of their hoarded acorns, although it is known that (during the summer) they can use the presence of a newly germinated sapling to reveal the presence of an acorn at its base.

4 comments

  1. Your drawing is lovely! They are busy, clever creatures. We also get a lot of them in this part of Andalusia — ‘arrendajo’ in Spanish — and they often wake me with their raucous call!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooh good information thank you. We have plans to visit Andalusia next year ‘once all this is over’ and it’s good to hear what is around and about. We were planning to be in Doñana this spring but Covid put a stop to that.

    Liked by 1 person

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