California Scrub-Jay

Aphelocoma californica




Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Green or gray with brown, red brown or olive spots

Number of Eggs:

2 - 7

Incubation Days:

15 - 17

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

5 - 30 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

Twigs, grass, and moss, lined with finer rootlets and animal hair.





California Scrub-Jay: Medium-sized, crestless jay with blue head, wings and tail, gray mask and back, and pale gray underparts. Dark-streaked, white throat is bordered by dark necklace. Sexes are similar. Juvenile is grayer. 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.

Breeding and Nesting

California Scrub-Jay: Two to seven light gray or green eggs spotted with brown, red brown, or olive, are laid in a twiggy nest well hidden in a tree or dense shrub. Incubation ranges from 15 to 17 days and is carried out by the female. Male feeds female during incubation.

Foraging and Feeding

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

Readily Eats

Cracked Corn, Suet, Nuts, Sunflower


California Scrub-Jay: Call is a loud, throaty "jay" or "jree." In flight, a long series of "check-check-check" notes are emitted.

Similar Species

California Scrub-Jay: Mexican Jay has uniform underparts lacking the white throat and dark collar. Pinyon Jay has blue underparts and shorter tail.


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

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