I was at Giant's Ridge Legends Golf Course earlier this month and I saw a ton of Blue Jays. They're really pretty birds that stand out against our fall colors in the Northland. When I saw the first one, I thought it was neat. Then, I saw more throughout the rest of the weekend and I thought it was a little odd.

Why are there so many Blue Jays? It turns out there's actually a reason you may be seeing more of them this year.

Angry Blue Jay

I saw an article posted in the Duluth News Tribune [Paywall], that explains why Blue Jays are swooping into Minnesota. It's because we are experiencing a bumper acorn crop from the oak trees.

I then wondered if this had anything to do with the drought we had this summer. Is it because the trees have been stressed that they are dropping more acorns than normal?

Photo by Joвана Младеновић on Unsplash
Photo by Joвана Младеновић on Unsplash

That's what's been happening with the earlier fall colors. The drought has been stressing the trees and caused them to change a little earlier than normal.

But, upon further research, that's not the case with the acorns. According to Fegus Now News, the oak trees are in a masting cycle. Every few years they produce more than normal acorns.

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Yes, the masting can be affected by different weather conditions, but it typically occurs in oak trees every 2-5 years.

The Blue Jays love these acorns and they will gorge on them. They make a pit stop in Minnesota on their way migrating south for their acorn buffet.

So, birders, find an oak tree and enjoy the beautiful sight of these Blue Jayes before they migrate!

Quiz: Do you know your state insect?

Stacker has used a variety of sources to compile a list of the official state insect(s) of each U.S. state, as well as their unique characteristics. Read on to see if you can guess which insect(s) represent your state. 

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