News & Notes

Visitor Question: Are Blue Jays in Decline?

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012
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On Twitter a follower @Syntain asks:

Are blue jays in decline? I’ve only seen two this year whereas I used to see dozens a few years ago. 

Maine Audubon staff naturalist Mike Windsor answers:
This is a bit of a tricky question – it depends on where we look.  According to the Birds of North America Online, blue jays are in decline in the eastern portion of their range.  However, When I looked at the data for Maine, populations were stable.

“Trends: Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data indicate a significant (p < 0.01) annual decline in Blue Jay abundance of 1.6% across the U.S. from 1966 to 1996. No significant change in Canada. Much of the overall decline stems from decline in eastern portion of BBS region (1.7%), with no significant decline in central and western regions (Sauer et al. 1997 subscription based access).”