Island Scrub-Jay

Aphelocoma insularis

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Code 4

ISSJ

Code 6

APHINS

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Near Threatened

The Island Scrub-Jay is rated as Near Threatened. At this time there are not any known threats facing the Island Scrub-Jay, but the range of this bird is extremely limited. The Island Scrub-Jay is native to the United States, specifically to Santa Cruz Island, which is part of the California Channel Islands. This limited range has led to the Near Threatened status. The population of the Island Scrub-Jay is estimated at around 12,500 individual birds. Only about 7,000 of those birds are considered to be breeders. Conservation efforts are underway to protect the Island Scrub-Jay.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Island Scrub-Jay: Medium-sized, crestless jay with gray-brown back and blue wings. Upper breast, throat, and chin are white with streaks. Head is blue with gray mask and narrow white eyebrow. Tail and undertail coverts are blue. Forages on ground. Flies with steady bouyant wing beats.


Range and Habitat

Island Scrub-Jay: Native to the United States, specifically to Santa Cruz Island, extremely limited range, being the smallest range of any North American bird species. Restricted to Santa Cruz Island, lying 20 miles off the southern coast of California. They breed in scrub oak chaparral and coastal live oak woodlands.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"quay-quay-quay", "quay-fee"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Island Scrub-Jay has been split from the Western Scrub-Jay because of its brighter plumage and different genetic makeup.
  • It is not known to have occurred anywhere else historically, and no fossil remains have been found on the well-researched neighboring islands.
  • Until breeding space becomes available, unmated individuals use marginal habitats not suitable for breeding. Nonbreeders do not defend territories, but rather forage and roost in loose groupings or on their own.
  • A group of jays has many collective nouns, including a "band", "cast", "party", and "scold" of jays.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Island Scrub-Jay

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Irina Rud-Volga

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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Undertail covertsX
Small feathers that cover the areas where the retrices (tail feathers) attach to the rump.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
ChinX
The area of the face just below the bill.
EyebrowX
Also called the supercilicum or superciliary it is the arch of feathers over each eye.
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