The truth about the Corvid-19 and what you need to know – part 1.


A lot of nonsense is being spoken these days on the news about the Corvid-19

One could honestly describe it as a flurry of fake news.

In order to ensure my subscribers have a full and accurate Pica of what is really going on, and to ensure these fake journalists eat crow, I have decided to make a series of articles right here, on the Corvid 19, or 19 corvids you need to know the science about. You will learn how to recognise the symptoms – the images, the names in various languages, the cultural significance of each.

There are more than 120 species and possibly more than 400 subspecies of Corvids, which in themselves are among the most intelligent birds, with a brain to body mass ratio similar to humans and whales, and have adapted to nearly every climate and area of the world. This is, therefore, just a representative selection that should give you a feel for the family Corvidae. We will also mention related species to each chosen Corvid, and not more than one per genus will be chosen, as there are anyway 24 different genera so I have to leave out some from the line-up of 19. If Coronavirus comes back with a new strain in five years’ time, it will be an easier matter.

Anyway, for today’s Corvid, let’s kick off with a little fellow very well-known and popular with our American readership.

http://KenThomas.us courteously released this photo to the Public Domain

 

Here’s the info, which for each of the Corvids in this series will be presented in a similar tabular form.

Common Name Blue jay
Other names Jaybird, Bluebird
German Blauhaeher
French Geai bleu
Russian Голубая сойка
Polish Modrosójka błękitna
Scientific Name Cyanocitta cristata
Number of species in the genus 2
Number of subspecies in this species 4
Literal meaning of Scientific name Dark blue jay, crested.
Described by Linnaeus, 1758
First attested in literature 1731 by Mark Catesby
Wingspan (cm) 43
Length bill to tail (cm) 30
Distribution North America, especially eastern side
Remarks Aggressive to other birds, omnivorous, including catching insects on the wing. Like squirrels, can hide nuts for later use. Wide range of vocalisations including the mimicking of human speech.
Migrations Limited, in some populations
Sexual dimorphism Males and females similar in size and plumage
Close relatives Steller’s jay, of the Rocky Mountains
Not close relatives thought to be close Crested jay (not a Corvid but a Laniid)
Cultural significance High, in America. References in African American traditions and also because of its iconic appearance frequently adopted as a mascot. In Vera Lynne’s song @there’s ll be bluebirds over the white cliffs of Dover” the bird most likely to be envisaged by American listeners would be this bird, but neither this nor any other obvious candidate for the name “bluebird” actually lives in the UK.

About David J. James

56 year old UK origin Chartered Accountant and business consultant who loves languages, literature, history, religion, politics, internet, vlogging and blogging and lively written or spoken discussion, plays backgammon and a few other board games. Walks and listens to Audible for hours a day usually, and avoids use of the car. Conservative Christian, married to an angel with advanced Multiple Sclerosis. We have three kids, two of them autistic, and we live in Warsaw, Poland. On the board of the main British-Polish charity Fundacja Sue Ryder in Poland, and involved in the Vocational Autistic School of "Nie Z Tej Bajki" in Warsaw. Member of Gideons International. Serves on two committees of the Chamber of Auditors in Poland, and on several Boards and Supervisory Boards. Has own consultancy called Quoracy.com delivering business governance and audit/valuation solutions as well as mentoring. Author of the GoldList Method for systematic optimal use of the long-term memory in learning.

Posted on 23/05/2020, in Birds and Mammals and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Thanks for this. A fascinating blend of puns,science,ornithology and wit. I didn’t know jays could be so strikingly beautiful and what a perfect photo by Ken Thomas. I’m looking forward to the others in the series.

    Like

    • Many thanks, Alan. I am trying to grab the nicest public domain images for this series and obviously give full credit to the excellent as well as generous producers of these. None of my own are good enough to be placed alongside. You can see the quality of my photography from the header images, which are generally not great, but at least they are mine.

      The best way I can thank you for your kind comment is to release the next one in the series early. I have written the third but I will not release it until Friday, I expect, as I have videos from YT lined up from Mon to Thursday, but I will have to hurry up before Covid-19 stops being topical and I can’t ride on that any more to get people looking at corvids!

      Like

  2. Andrzej Zaw....

    Thank you.

    Like

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