Visit Valparaiso, IN, the Vale of Paradise, to take on the Birds of Paradise sculpture scavenger hunt beginning in 2022. Visit Valparaiso to hunt down the clues needed to find all 10 native birds species throughout downtown.
Have you ever been woken up in the early hours of dawn to a piercing, squawking call? If so, it was most likely a Blue Jay! This species is notorious for their noisy calls that can be heard across backyards throughout Eastern North America. Don’t let their annoying call fool you though! These birds are incredible intelligent and have complex social structures.
This species has an incredibly striking blue plumage, with some black spots and streaking. If you’re trying to attract them to your feeder, try a platform or hopper feeder and load it with peanuts, sunflower seeds, and suet. You’ll see them most often in suburban backyards, but they traditionally live in forested areas. They love to eat acorns and have helped oak trees regenerate by spreading the acorns to other areas.
The Blue Jay can be found throughout Indiana year round. One of the most incredible places to see them is at the Indiana Dunes State Park observation tower in late April and early May. These birds form large flocks for migration and some mornings at the tower, you can see thousands of Blue Jays!
Cover Photo: Blue Jay by Ryan Sanderson