Western Scrub-Jay

Scientific Name: Alphelocoma californica

Behavior/diet: Western Scrub-Jays tend to hop and jump along as they scavenge for food instead of walk. They are omnivores, and eat a wide variety of things. Western Scrub-Jays eat insects, spiders, and snails in summer, and berries and acorns in winter. They also eat seeds, amphibians, the eggs of other species of birds, and rodents.

Habitat: The Western Scrub-Jay can be found in suburban areas, where it is a fairly common visitor to feeders, chaparral, pastures, and orchards. They can also be found in oak forests and woodlands, especially if there are dense shrubby plants around.

Sound: The Western Scrub-Jay has a harsh, grating, call that is repeated 4 to 6 times with short pauses in between.

Nesting: The nest is built by the male and female. It is made of twigs, grass, and moss, and lined with hair and rootlets. 3 to 6 eggs are laid and incubated for 15 to 17 days. Western Scrub-Jays usually have only one brood. The eggs are blue-green with brown speckling that is heavier at the big end.

Description/field marks: Western Scrub-Jays are not very brightly colored, but their markings are distinct. Western Scrub-Jays have white throats and undersides, and there are two lines of blue that come down from the shoulders to make a v shape, but they don’t meet at the ends. The wings and tail are blue, and on the back there is a brown triangle. The crown and nape are also blue, but there are patches of brown on the eyes. Western Scrub-Jays also have a very thin white supercilium.

How to attract: To attract Western Scrub-Jays put out a seed feeder. They will take sunflower seeds and peanuts. If you have some shrubs near your feeder these Scrub-jays won’t be to hard to attract.

Western Scrub-Jay

Western Scrub-Jay

This entry was posted in jays, crows, and kin. Bookmark the permalink.