Badger jay (type)

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Bad luck jay
Black Jay (Perisoreus infaustus)

Black Jay ( Perisoreus infaustus )

Order : Passerines (Passeriformes)
Subordination : Songbirds (passeri)
Superfamily : Corvoidea
Family : Corvids (Corvidae)
Genre : Unglückshäher ( Perisoreus )
Type : Bad luck jay
Scientific name
Perisoreus infaustus
( Linnaeus , 1758)

The Siberian jay ( Perisoreus infaustus ) is a bird art from the family of corvids (Corvidae). It is a breeding bird of the boreal zone of the Palearctic .


The reddish tail and wing feathers can often only be seen in flight

Black jays grow to be 25 to 31 cm tall, have a wingspan of 40 to 46 cm and weigh 80 to 95 grams. The sexes look the same, the basic color is a beige brown. The back is medium gray, the head and neck are medium brown. The rump and tail are reddish brown, and the wings also appear reddish in flight. Blue jays tend to be dumb, but like jays can croak when frightened. They live inconspicuous and withdrawn, but are still not shy, but rather behave curiously when hikers come by.


Spread of the bad luck bugger:
  • Year-round occurrence
  • Compiled from "BirdLife International and Handbook of the Birds of the World (2016) 2016, IUCN 2020.1"

    The distribution area of ​​the bad luck crow covers about 10,000,000 km². He lives in central and northern Scandinavia ( Norway , Sweden , Finland and parts of Russia ) and in the Siberian taiga . However , it is said to have got its German name from the Middle Ages , when it migrated south in harsh winters and, if only very rarely, was found in Central Europe . His appearance was viewed superstitiously as a portent of imminent misfortune.

    Population and Vulnerability

    According to the IUCN, the current population of Perisoreus infaustus in Europe comprises 680,000 to 1,400,000 animals. Although there are signs of a slight decline in the population, according to the IUCN there is no acute risk to be assumed. The common jay is therefore classified as not endangered on the red list of endangered species .


    Black jays live in central and northern Scandinavia as well as in the Siberian taiga . Their habitat is the local coniferous and mixed forests , they breed in dense lichen-covered stands. They are lively and fly agile between trees and dense vegetation or do gymnastics through the branches. They are pronounced resident birds . In Finland this bird is seen as a friend of the farmer . He likes to appear around the campfire during the day and take the crumbs on offer with him.


    Blue jays are omnivores. Their main diet consists of seeds from conifers , nuts and berries , small animals, eggs , carrion and insects. Like the common pine cays, they store supplies in trees for the winter, which they also find in the snow.

    Social behavior

    Brood care

    Museum Wiesbaden collection

    The nests are often built in conifers in the thicket early in the year. The nests are softly padded with down because the temperatures are sometimes very low at this time of year. Three to four young are raised. The young fledglings early in the year, but the family often stays together in a small group for a long time. Couples stay together for life.


    Blue jays have a complex system of defense against predators . If a bird detects a potential enemy, it uses specific warning calls to summon other members of its own species in order to drive the predator to flight. The sounds include more than 25 different calls, which differ depending on the type of threat, for example the bad jay differentiates between owls and hawks .

    The jays call the more frequently, the closer the relationship is within their colony. Also, the birds only resort to the warning system when the enemy is obviously resting. If, on the other hand, it is actively looking for prey, the common jay is more likely to escape.

    supporting documents


    • Hans-Günther Bauer, Einhard Bezzel and Wolfgang Fiedler (eds.): The compendium of birds in Central Europe: Everything about biology, endangerment and protection. Volume 2: Passeriformes - passerine birds. Aula-Verlag Wiebelsheim, Wiesbaden 2005, ISBN 3-89104-648-0 .

    Web links

    Commons : Black Jay  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
    Wiktionary: Black Jay  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

    Single receipts

    1. a b Red List of IUCN , accessed 20 June 2009
    2. Bauer et al., P. 65
    3. Häher: Warning calls as complex as with great apes , accessed on June 19, 2009