The flight of Tufted Jay is described as strong and buoyant, with constant wingbeats.
Tufted Jay is a highly social bird and throughout much of the year lives in groups ranging anywhere from 4-16 birds (Crossin 1967). Larger flocks have been found in areas with wide ravines supporting large shade trees and dense understory. During the breeding season the foraging is done in smaller groups; flocks break into smaller units around March. In the nonbreeding season, foraging primarily occurs in two bouts, a morning session of four to five hours, and a shorter session from early afternoon until dusk; long periods of preening and resting occur during the middle of the day (Crossin 1967).
Tufted Jays rarely forage on the ground, spending their time in the tree canopy (Crossin 1967). Foraging individuals investigate bromeliads and various other epiphytes for berries, seeds or acorns. They tear the bromeliad cups apart in order to gain access to food trapped inside (Crossin 1967). Agave inflorescences and grassy rocks also are commonly investigated. Jays sometimes visit flowers to prey on insects drawn to the nectar (Crossin 1967). Tufted Jays cache food by burying it in the ground or storing it in trees. To open nuts, they will grasp the nut with their feet and use their bill as a chisel.
During the breeding season, flocks make numerous short trips away from the nest. This is in contrast to pre-breeding season foraging trips, which usually consisted of fewer, longer feeding excursions (Crossin 1967).