Pinyon Jay

Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Code 4

PIJA

Code 6

GYMCYA

ITIS

Egg Color:

Pale blue or green



Number of Eggs:

3 - 5



Incubation Days:

16 - 17



Egg Incubator:

Female



Nest Location:

3 - 25 feet above ground.



Nest Material:

Sticks, bark, grasses, stems, roots, hair, and paper.



Migration:

Nonmigratory



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General

Pinyon Jay: Small, crestless, stocky jay with blue-gray body. Head is darker blue and has pale streaks on throat. Tail is short. Sexes are similar. Juvenile is duller.

Range and Habitat

Pinyon Jay: Resident from central Oregon and Montana southward to eastern California, central Arizona, New Mexico, and extreme northwestern Oklahoma. It may occur as a seasonal vagrant from west Texas to North Dakota. Preferred habitats include ponderosa pines, pinyon-junipers, and forests of mixed pine and oaks.

Breeding and Nesting

Pinyon Jay: Three to five pale blue or green eggs are laid in a twiggy cup nest; often nests in loose colonies. Incubation ranges from 16 to 17 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Pinyon Jay: Diet consists of nuts, pine seeds, grass seeds, berries, fruits, insects, and eggs and young of small birds; also boldly approaches human habitations for scraps. Forages in mountain conifers at elevations of 3,000 to 8,000 feet.

Readily Eats

Cracked Corn, Suet, Sunflower Seed

Vocalization

Pinyon Jay: Makes an assortment of calls, including a warning "crauk-crauk" and nasal caw "kaa-eh", with lower second note.

Similar Species

Pinyon Jay: Western Scrub-Jay has a longer tail, pale gray underparts, white throat outlined with a blue necklace, and brown back patch. Steller's Jay is crested and has a black head.

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