Western Scrub-Jay

Aphelocoma californica

Summary 3

The Western Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma californica), is a large species jay(with three subspecies) with a long tail and are blue and gray above with a pale gray throat, chest and belly and a blue band across the chest. They have a white eyebrow above the eye. Males and females are similar in appearance.

Similar SpeciesWestern Bluebird Western Bluebirds are smaller in size and have chestnut coloration on their breast, sides and back. They also have a short tail.

Steller's Jay Steller's Jays have a black head, breast and back and distinctive crest. They are also blue on their belly, wings and tail.

Where on Campus? 4

Western Scrub Jays can be found in the Native Plant Garden, along Adobe Creek and in the oaks around the perimeter of campus.

Habitat 4

Western Scrub Jays can be found in oak woodlands and shrublands including chaparral. They are also common in backyards and urban and suburban parks.

Life History 4

Nesting Both mates contribute to nest building and build the nest out of a variety of plant material in oak trees (or other trees).
FeedingWestern Scrub Jays eat a wide variety of foods including insexts and fruit in the spring and summer and nuts and seeds during the fall and winter (including acorns). They are also opportunistic and will eat small animals including lizards, mammals and nestling birds.

Distribution 5

Southwestern Washington to southwestern Wyoming, Colorado, and central Texas south through the southwestern U.S. to southern Baja California and Oaxaca, Puebla, and west-central Veracruz, Mexico.

Migration 4

Scrub Jays are residents.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Jessica Merz, some rights reserved (CC BY), http://www.flickr.com/photos/94953676@N00/62271214
  2. (c) Ingrid Taylar from San Francisco Bay Area - California, USA, some rights reserved (CC BY), http://eol.org/data_objects/27738441
  3. Adapted by gillian360 from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aphelocoma_californica
  4. (c) gillian360, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)
  5. Adapted by gillian360 from a work by (c) NatureServe, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), http://eol.org/data_objects/28846718

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