image taken through glass
The Jay was one of the many species originally described by Carl Linnaeus in his landmark 1758 10th edition of Systema Naturae. He recognised its affinity with other corvids, (does that name have a familar ring?) naming it Corvus glandarius. The current scientific name is from Latin; garrulus means noisy or chattering, and glandarius is "of acorns", a favoured food.
Their intelligence is similar to other corvids - jays have been reported to plan for their future needs. Male jays also take into account the desires of their partner when sharing food with her as a courtship ritual, and also when protecting their food items from stealing by other members of the same genus i.e. magpies, rooks, crows, ravens, choughs, and jackdaws.
In order to keep their plumage free of parasites, they lie on top of anthills with spread wings allowing their feathers to be sprayed with formic acid by the ants.