This “teenager” is switching between possessing soft, gray feathers to show off its vibrant blue adult plumage.
Animals, like humans, have to go through that awkward adolescence phase.
Originally posted on Reddit, the photo above shows a “teenage” Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata.)
The image captures the mid-phase when the bird still has gray down feathers but is also transitioning to its vibrant blue adult plumage.
This is a normal developmental stage for Blue Jay to go through.
The bird will go through several plumage stages throughout its life.
In fact, Blue Jays are known for their unique molting pattern when they fully undergo from June to July each year.
Contrary to their name, Blue Jays are not actually blue.
The bright cobalt blue is an illusion caused by refraction in their unique plumage.
The covering feathers distort the light when it is reflected, giving it a blue color. Without direct light, the natural brown color of the feathers will appear.