Latin name: Graculus
Other names: Choucas, Geai, Gragulo, Iaye, Jackdaw

A very noisy bird

General Attributes

The jay or jackdaw is a noisy bird. It lives in forests and flies from tree to tree, singing noisily. A captured jackdaw can be kept in a cage and can be taught to talk. If such a bird escapes back to the forest, it is even noisier than before.


Jays represent gossips, those who take pleasure in repeating gossip and listening to slander. The escaped jay represents the man who leaves a monastic order, and turns his gift of speech to slander.


Aelianus [170-230 CE] (On the Characteristics of Animals, Book 6, chapter 19): Now the jay can imitate all other sounds but especially the human voice. - [Scholfield translation]

Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 7:45): The jay or jackdaw (graculus) is not named, as some would have it, because it flies in a flock (gregatim), but because it is garrulous. It is a talkative bird with a rude sound.