From Xplor for Kids
July 2015 Issue

Predator vs. Prey: Blue Jay vs. Monarch

Publish Date

Jul 01, 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.

Also in this issue

Get Out

The best way to beat summer boredom is to head outdoors.

Into The Wild: Your Backyard

You can find wild things everywhere — even in your own backyard. So lace up your boots, shoulder your pack, and head into the wild.

Pond Marvels

Slip on your rubber boots and get close to the ground — pond marvels abound. Get down near the muck, where you’re eye to eye with a duck. At the water’s edge, soon you’ll see some of Missouri’s most interesting creatures performing amazing feats.


Whether they’re covered with skin, scales, feathers, or fur, tails are tailormade for accomplishing some to-tail-ly amazing things.

Strange But True!

Your guide to all unusual, unique, and unbelievable stuff that goes on in nature.

How To: Make Jug Lines For Catfish

There are many ways to catch the fish affectionately known as “Mr. Whiskers.” Jug lines are fun, easy, and effective.

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

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