Island Scrub-Jay

Aphelocoma insularis




Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Pale blue green with olive and light brown marks

Number of Eggs:

2 - 7

Incubation Days:

16 - 19

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

2 - 12 feet above ground, In bush or low in tree.

Nest Material:

Twigs, rootlets and grasses.





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. Sexes are similar. Juvenile is grayer overall with breast streaks and dark gray tail.

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.

Breeding and Nesting

Island Scrub-Jay: Two to seven pale blue-green eggs marked with light olive and brown are laid in a nest made of twigs, rootlets, and grass, and built from 2 to 12 feet above the ground in a bush or low in a tree. Incubation ranges from 16 to 19 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Island Scrub-Jay: Eats rodents, crustaceans, mollusks, small birds, insects, and nestlings and eggs of other birds. Also gathers nuts and stores them in pits, covering them with vegetation; forages on the ground and in trees and bushes.


Island Scrub-Jay: Call is a "quay-quay-quay" or "quay-fee"; also gives a whispering song near the nest.

Similar Species

Island Scrub-Jay: Woodhouse's and California Scrub-Jays occur only on the mainland.

Undertail covertsX
Small feathers that cover the areas where the retrices (tail feathers) attach to the rump.
The upper front part of a bird.
The area of the face just below the bill.
Also called the supercilicum or superciliary it is the arch of feathers over each eye.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X