Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay

Aphelocoma woodhouseii




Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Light gray-green with olive or green spots or light gray to light blue-green with brown spots

Number of Eggs:

2 - 7

Incubation Days:

17 - 19

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

6 - 14 feet high in an pinyon-pine, serviceberry or other small trees.

Nest Material:

Twigs, rootlets, fine plant fibers and livestock hair.





Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay: Medium, crestless jay, dull blue head, wings, tail, gray mask and back, pale gray underparts. Bill, legs, feet are black. Sexes are similar. Juvenile has brown-gray head. Eats grains, fruits, insects, frogs, lizards, and eggs and young of other birds. Flies with steady wing beats. Western Scrub-Jay was split into two species, the California Scrub-Jay and Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay in 2016 by the American Ornithologist Union.

Range and Habitat

Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay: This species is a resident from Nevada east to Colorado and Texas, and from southern Idaho to central Mexico. Its preferred habitat include pinyon pines and junipers. Also occurs in oak woodlands and mixed forests.

Breeding and Nesting

Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay: One to five light gray-green or light blue-green eggs spotted with brown or olive, are laid in a twiggy nest well hidden in a tree or dense shrub. Incubation ranges from 17 to 19 days and is carried out by the female. Male feeds female during incubation.

Foraging and Feeding

Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay: Diet consists of insects, grains, small lizards, frogs, fruits, young of other birds; forages in trees and on the ground.

Readily Eats

Suet, Nuts, Fruit, Seeds


Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay: Utter a "weep" during flight, while carrying nesting material; a bell-like "shlenk", a quiet "kuk" exchanged between mates; a loud, rasping scolding sound for mobbing predators. Call is a loud, throaty "jay" or "jree." In flight, a long series of "check-check-check" notes are emitted.

Similar Species

Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay: Mexican Jay has uniform underparts lacking the white throat and dark collar. Pinyon Jay has blue underparts and shorter tail. California Scrub-Jay is a brighter blue with a distinctive blue breast stripe.


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

Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X