Blue Jays are among the most impressive birds in the world, the blue passerine is originally native to North America, especially in the east. However, the beauty of the loud birds earned them worldwide fame.
Due to its popularity, the bird is considered one of the most spiritual and symbolic birds out there for several cultures. But what about their feathers?
Since their unique feathers are among the most characteristic features of the bird, even their feathers have several meanings in cultures and folklore.
In today’s article, we’ll take you on a trip to discuss the Blue Jay feather meaning and symbolism in different cultures!
How to Identify a Blue Jay Feather
Before we dive into the details of what a Blue Jay feather means, you first need to know how to identify a Blue Jay feather, as there is a wide range of birds out there with blue-colored feathers (such as bluebirds).
A typical Blue Jay feather is not fully blue, as it will also have a white tip along the feather, horizontal patterns of black as well as browning of the sides, depending on the part of the bird’s body where the feather came off.
Author Note: Blue Jay feathers can be long or short. The longer ones give them their body contours and style while the short ones keep their body warm.
You should also know that there are no blue pigments in the birds’ feathers. Instead, the blue color is generated from the refraction of light on tiny microscopic structures on the feather, so it may look pale or grayish from the sides.
What Does a Blue Jay Feather Mean?
When it comes to meanings and symbolism, not many birds share the status that Blue Jay has. For that reason, Blue Jay feathers have several meanings according to various cultures, religions, and more. Let’s have a quick look at these meanings:
1. General Meaning
The feather of the Blue Jay is considered a sign of optimism and a message of hope for those who are in need of a positive push forward.
This comes from the bird’s energetic and intelligent personality, so the feathers are also considered a very good omen and a confirmation that you’re on the right track pursuing your goals and dreams.
Many people and cultures also associate Blue Jay’s feathers with future success and good fortune as well as self-healing, faithfulness, and determination.
All in all, seeing a Blue Jay feather usually conveys a positive message and is considered a pleasant encounter!
2. Spiritual Meaning
When it comes to symbolism and spirituality, the Blue Jay carries similar meanings to the ones mentioned above.
Among the most common spiritual characteristics are intelligence, perseverance, curiosity, focus, and a great sense of protection and vibrance.
Blue Jays use their loud calls in nature to warn other birds of predators and raptors nearby by mimicking their sounds.
Spiritually, this symbolizes your intelligence and ability to communicate to build solid relationships and assures you that you’re well protected along your path in life.
Author Note: In some cases, finding a Blue Jay feather can also be a warning of someone’s jealousy or bad intentions towards you. So, you might want to stay alert for those in your inner circle.
Blue Jays are usually regarded as bearers of good news, fortune, and luck! It’s often believed that finding a feather of a Blue Jay means that someone in the house will receive money, great news, a nice letter, or a gift soon!
Devout Christian households also believe that Blue Jays and their feathers are a sign of good things coming their way.
According to the Christian Post, a Blue Jay means that luck and victory are awaiting you at the end of your path and all you need to do is to stay persistent and never give up!
3. Meaning in Native American Culture
Since Blue Jays are originally from North America, most of their symbolic presence in cultures is within Native American culture, especially among the Sioux, Chinooks, and the Coast Salish tribes.
Most American tribes considered Blue Jays and their feathers sacred. The Native Americans admired the bird’s intelligence and curious spirit that allowed them to find food even in the harshest conditions.
Blue Jays were also considered harbingers of luck and good fortune in these tribes. Many tribes even made body paints with crushed Blue Jay feathers as a totem to bring them victory.
They also believed that the bird is a messenger between humans and the spirit world, so they associated the bird’s feathers with wisdom, loyalty, generosity, and often seen as a symbol of guidance when someone is searching for an answer.
On the other hand, some tribes that regarded the bird as a trickster believed that the feathers are associated with lying and cheating.
Those tribes believed that finding a Blue Jay feather in the house meant that someone is jealous of you.
4. Meaning in Greek Culture
The Roman-Greek culture had a winged messenger that had a great resemblance to the Chinook blue jay. This messenger bird used to carry messages from God to people.
The Greeks believed that finding the bird or a single feather in the chimney of the house meant great luck for the homeowner.
5. Meaning in Celtic Culture
As previously mentioned, blue jays are so smart that they can also mimic the cries of a hawk to deceive other birds.
For that reason, many cultures, including the Celtic culture, associated the bird with deception and cheating.
In those cultures, stumbling across a Blue Jay feather is a warning that someone around you is misrepresenting themselves or lying about certain details.
Author Note: There’s also a strong belief among Celtic people that Blue Jays are the reincarnation of the Druids’ souls because of how they seed oak trees.
6. Meaning in Indian Culture
Hindu mythology naturally has little to do with the Blue Jay. However, similar to native American culture, a blue colored passerine feather is believed to be a bringer of wealth.
7. Meaning in Wicca Religion
Wicca is a newly-found religion that relates to magic and the worship of a god and goddess. Blue Jays often symbolize protection, love, and attraction as well as good fortune and luck.
What Does a Blue Jay Feather Tattoo Mean?
The beauty of the Blue Jay feather makes it worthy of a beautiful tattoo! That’s why a lot of people have this striking blue tattoo on their body to make a strong statement.
As previously mentioned, the bird can symbolize a wide range of good qualities all the while looking extremely unique and impressive!
When it comes to bold and colored tattoos like Blue Jay feathers, there are multiple meanings that the tattoo can be, such as bravery, confidence, strong will, and independence.
Additionally, some people use the blue jay feather tattoo as a reminder of their encounter with a real life single feather, which gives them a positive push into the right direction and to stay focused on their primary goals.
What Does Dreaming of a Blue Jay Feather Mean?
Dreams always have their own way to convey a message in subtle details. Since birds have always been used as message bearers, they’re always interpreted as messengers from other dimensions and higher beings.
Since a Blue Jay feather is one of the most special characteristics of the bird, dreaming of the feather alone is usually symbolic of the most popular traits of the bird, such as the ability to communicate, using intelligence to solve problems, and perseverance.
In other words, if you have a recurrent dream that includes a Blue Jay feather, it might be a message to you that you need to communicate with your loved one or pursue your wildest dreams.
Moreover, in ancient meditation practices, the blue color in dreams signifies the blue chakra, which is in the neck and head, supporting the same idea.
Is It Legal to Own a Blue Jay Feather in the US?
Legally speaking, if you encounter a Blue Jay feather, you’re not supposed to collect it. This is because Blue Jays (Cyanocitta cristata) are included in the list of federally protected species in the U.S. and its territories, according to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
According to this law, it’s illegal to own, keep, or trade Blue Jays without a license. The same law also prohibits any form of processing of a recently dead Blue Jay and all of its body parts, including its feathers.
Unfortunately, this means that you won’t be able to keep a Blue Jay feather if you encounter one, as the penalty for violating this act can reach up to 6 months of prison as well as a hefty fine of about $15,000.
There you have it! A brief guide that walks you through everything you need to know about blue jay feathers’ meaning and what they signify in different cultures out there.
As you can see, like the bird itself, finding a Blue Jay feather can have a lot of meanings, most of which are positive, from good fortune to happiness and good things coming to you!
Yes, they can drop their tail feathers when they are frightened. This is called fright molt and might help distract a predator so the bird can get away.
Birds lose feathers so that worn out ones can be replaced by new ones. Birds may also molt according to their age and breeding status. It is often a part of their yearly cycle and usually happens after the breeding season. It may make birds look sick but it is perfectly natural.
When birds molt, it might not necessarily be painful but could well be uncomfortable and cause the bird to be withdrawn and quieter than normal.
How should I dispose of the feather without going against the meaning or hurting myself from all the meaning coming true?
me and my sister were walking through the woods when we found 2 blue jay feathers on the ground
I have been finding all kinds of different feathers lately, mostly just walking and finding them. I found a blue Jay feather today and it’s been a rough week so it has inspired me to move on and keep my plan of moving to South Carolina and being with my one true love. But this means I have to leave what I was hoping to be my last love.