“Kent”-Like calls from Blue Jays

Blue Jays are known to make calls that resemble those of Ivory-billed Woodpecker "kent" calls. Blue Jays often mimic other species, especially Red-shouldered Hawks and Red-tailed Hawks. Some observers in Arkansas have been surprised to hear Blue Jays making purely "kent"-like calls for extended periods.

The "kent"-like calls uttered by Blue Jays may be imitations of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers or sounds that past generations of Blue Jays heard, imitated, and passed on culturally. It is also possible that the resemblance between the sounds is pure coincidence. The function of the calls is unknown.

Could the unidentified "tooting" calls from Arkansas have been made by Blue Jays rather than Ivory-billed Woodpeckers? So far, recordings of Blue Jay vocalizations have not matched the sounds of the mystery calls from the Big Woods. The research team is seeking more recordings of Blue Jays to document more variants of the calls.

Below are two recordings of Blue Jays. Neither recording sounds just like the call of an Ivory-billed Woodpecker, but you may notice that the vocalizations from Arkansas sound more similar to the 1935 recordings of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers than do the vocalizations from New Jersey.

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Blue Jay, New Jersey, Interactive Analyzer or Simple Sounds

Blue Jay, Arkansas, Interactive Analyzer or Simple Sounds


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