California Scrub-Jay

Aphelocoma californica

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Code 4

CASJ

Code 6

APHCAL

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The California Scrub-Jay is a native of western North America, including southern Washington, central Texas and central Mexico. This bird may also be called the California Jay or Long-tailed Jay. This species may be found in urban areas, and will feed from man-made structures. The California Scrub-Jay is a permanent, year-round resident of its habitat, including low scrublands, pinyon-juniper forests, oak woodlands and suburban gardens. Nests are built low in trees or bushes. Food is foraged from the forest floor, and diets consist of frogs and lizards, eggs and young birds, insects, grains, nuts and berries. The conservation rating for this species is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

California Scrub-Jay: Medium, crestless jay, blue head, wings, tail, gray mask, back, pale gray underparts. Dark-streaked, white throat bordered by dark necklace. Bill, legs, feet are black. Eats grains, fruits, insects, frogs, lizards, and eggs and young of other birds. Flies with steady wing beats. Split History. Split from Western Scrub-Jay into two species, the California Scrub-Jay and Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay in 2016 by the American Ornithologist Union.

 

Range and Habitat

California Scrub-Jay: This species is a resident from Washington and Oregon south to California, Texas, and Baja California. Some individuals stray north into southwestern British Columbia. Its preferred habitats include scrub oak, woodlands, and pinon-juniper forests. They also inhabit suburban gardens.

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California Scrub-Jay SONGS AND CALLS

California Scrub-Jay HH1

Scratchy "weep" calls from a small group foraging in a low bush.

California Scrub-Jay HH2

Quiet "nyuk" calls given as birds move through pine trees and bushes.

Similar Sounding

Black-billed Magpie C1

Nasal "shek" calls.


Voice Text

"jay", "jree", "check-check-check"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Researchers have studied the ability of California Scrub-Jays to hide (cache) and remember seeds, of these seeds, for instance acorns, are forgotten and later germinate.
  • This species is known to feed on parasites on the body of mule deer, hopping over the body and head of the deer to get them.
  • A group of jays has many collective nouns, including a "band", "cast", "party", and "scold" of jays.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X