Predator vs. Prey: Blue Jay vs. Monarch

By | July 1, 2015
From Xplor: July/August 2015

Wild Child

Loud and rowdy blue jays are best known for screaming, “Jay! Jay! Jay!” These troublemakers also mimic many birdcalls, including hawks, to send other birds into a tizzy.

Snack Stasher

Blue jays have stretchy throat pouches like pelicans and can gulp down loads of insects or up to five acorns. One jay packed away 100 sunflower seeds! They stash these snacks for later.

Big, Brainy, and Bold

Jays are some of the smartest birds in the sky, with excellent memories and problem-solving skills. They form groups to attack owls and hawks.

Orange Means Whoa!

A monarch’s bright wings warn birds, “Whoa!” Milkweed, the caterpillar’s favorite snack, makes the butterfly bitter tasting and causes birds to upchuck. Blue jays quickly learn to avoid munching monarchs.

Rubber-Band Butterfly

That’s one tough and rubbery butterfly! A bird can pinch the monarch’s wing hard enough to find out it tastes gross and spit it out, and the monarch can still fly away.

And More...

This Issue's Staff

Brett Dufur
Les Fortenberry
Karen Hudson
Regina Knauer
Angie Daly Morfeld
Noppadol Paothong
Marci Porter
Mark Raithel
Laura Scheuler
Matt Seek
David Stonner
Nichole LeClair Terrill
Stephanie Thurber
Cliff White