(Western Scrub Jay)
11-13" (28-33 cm). Head, wings, and tail blue; back gray; breast whitish with incomplete blue necklace.
Similar Species- Gray-breasted Jay, Pinyon Jay
A coarse, squeaky iennk.
Resident from southwestern Washington, southwestern Wyoming, Colorado, and central Texas, south through southwestern U.S. to southern Baja California and Oaxaca, Mexico. Also resides in central Florida.
Found in scrub (especially oak, pinyon and juniper), brush, chaparral, and pine/oak associations. When not breeding, also found in riparian woodlands, gardens, orchards, and lowland brushy areas.
Feeds on nuts (acorns, pinyon), grains (corn, oats), fruits, insects (wasps, bees, caterpillars, cutworms, grasshoppers, etc.), mollusks, eggs and young of small birds, mice, shrews, frogs, and lizards.
Builds cup-shaped nest in deciduous (occasionally coniferous) tree; will sometimes nest in shrub. Forages on ground. caches food, particularly nuts. Travels alone or in small family groups. In Florida, a similar species, groups of related birds defend year-round territories.
Female incubates 2-7 eggs (usually 4-6), for 16 days. Young are tended by parents and (in Florida) young of previous brood. Young leave nest at about 18 days, and first breed as early as 1 yr in some areas, 2+ yr in Florida and on Santa Cruz Island, California. Adults form long-term pair bond. There is a high adult survivorship.
No references are available at this time.