This brightly colored visitor to our backyards is known as the Blue Jay. But where is his pointy head? When the bird is feeding or resting, the crest is flat- tened. More peculiar is the fact that a Blue Jay’s feathers are not actually blue but an optical illusion! The appearance of blue feathers is not due to pigments present in the feathers as in most other birds, but rather structural coloration – the production of color by microscopically structured surfaces fine enough to interfere with visible light. This phenomenon is also called light scattering. In actuality, a Blue Jay’s feathers are brown. Photo by Steve Fisher.