Blue Jay

Blue Jay


metal engraving/etching
By J. J. Audubon, engraved by R. Havell.

text from the plate

Blue Jay.

Corvus cristatus.

Male 1. Female 2. 3.

Drawn from nature by J. J. Audubon, F.R.S., F.L.S.

Engraved, printed, and colored by R. Havell.


"Reader, look at the plate in which are represented three individuals of this beautiful species, — rogues though they be, and thieves, as I would call them, were it fit for me to pass judgment on their actions. See how each is enjoying the fruits of his knavery, sucking the egg which he has pilfered from the nest of some innocent dove or harmless partridge! Who could imagine that a form so graceful, arrayed by nature in a garb so resplendent, should harbour so much mischief; —that selfishness, duplicity, and malice should form the moral accompaniments of so much physical perfection! Yet so it is, and how like beings of a much higher order, are these gay deceivers! ... Always exceedingly garrulous, they may easily be followed to any distance, and the more they are chased the more noisy do they become, unless a hawk happen to pass suddenly near them, when they are instantly struck dumb, and, as if ever conscious of deserving punishment, either remain motionless for a while, or sneak off silently into the closest thickets..."