California Scrub-Jay

Aphelocoma californica

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Code 4

CASJ

Code 6

APHCAL

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The California Scrub-Jay is a native of western North America, including southern Washington, central Texas and central Mexico. This bird may also be called the California Jay or Long-tailed Jay. This species may be found in urban areas, and will feed from man-made structures. The California Scrub-Jay is a permanent, year-round resident of its habitat, including low scrublands, pinyon-juniper forests, oak woodlands and suburban gardens. Nests are built low in trees or bushes. Food is foraged from the forest floor, and diets consist of frogs and lizards, eggs and young birds, insects, grains, nuts and berries. The conservation rating for this species is Least Concern.

VOTE: ILLUSTRATION

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SUMMARY

Overview

California Scrub-Jay: Medium, crestless jay, blue head, wings, tail, gray mask, back, pale gray underparts. Dark-streaked, white throat bordered by dark necklace. Bill, legs, feet are black. Eats grains, fruits, insects, frogs, lizards, and eggs and young of other birds. Flies with steady wing beats. Split History. 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 North America

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.


Range and Habitat Hawaii


Range and Habitat Palau

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INTERESTING FACTS

  • Researchers have studied the ability of California Scrub-Jays to hide (cache) and remember seeds, of these seeds, for instance acorns, are forgotten and later germinate.
  • This species is known to feed on parasites on the body of mule deer, hopping over the body and head of the deer to get them.
  • A group of jays has many collective nouns, including a "band", "cast", "party", and "scold" of jays.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION



SONGS AND CALLS

Xeno-Canto Sound

California Scrub-Jay HH1

  • Title: California Scrub-Jay HH1
  • Recordist: Lance A M Benner
  • Description: Scratchy "weep" calls from a small group foraging in a low bush.
  • Location: CA
  • Date: "October 13, 2016"

California Scrub-Jay HH2

  • Title: California Scrub-Jay HH2
  • Recordist: Lance A M Benner
  • Description: Quiet "nyuk" calls given as birds move through pine trees and bushes.
  • Location: CA
  • Date: "October 13, 2016"

California Scrub-Jay HH3

  • Title: California Scrub-Jay HH3
  • Recordist: Lance A M Benner
  • Description: Nasal "zreeep" calls.
  • Location: CA
  • Date: "October 13, 2016"

California Scrub-Jay C1

  • Title: California Scrub-Jay C1
  • Recordist: Paul Marvin
  • Description: Typical harsh calls given in flight.
  • Location: CA
  • Date: "October 13, 2016"

Similar Sounding Xeno-Canto

Black-billed Magpie C1

  • Title: Black-billed Magpie C1
  • Recordist: Paul Marvin
  • Description: Nasal "shek" calls.
  • Location: MN
  • Date: "07/18/2016"

Voice Text

"jay", "jree", "check-check-check"

Vocalization

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

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

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UnderpartsX

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

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