Steller’s Jay

Scientific Name: Cyanocitta stelleri

Diet: The Steller’s Jay is an omnivore, and they eat a variety of things. Steller’s Jays eat insects, seeds, suet, small rodents, invertabrates, other species of birds eggs and nestlings, berries, fruit, and nuts.

Habitat: Steller’s Jays breed in coniferous forests, and winter in coniferous-deciduous forests, suburban areas, green belts, and are common backyard birds.

Range: The Steller’s Jay can be found in most of Washington all year, but not in the south-east corner. Their range also extends north up to Alaska, and south down to California.

Nesting: Steller’s Jays’ nests are made of twigs, moss, stems, and weeds, and they are held together with mud. The nests are lined with animal hair, rootlets, and pine needles. Both the male and the female help build the nest. It is usually placed in a conifer tree, and it is often on a horizontal branch close to the trunk of the tree. Steller’s Jays lay 2 to 6 eggs, and incubate them for 16 to18 days. When the nest is finished it is about 10 to17 inches across.

Behavior: Steller’s Jays are bold and conspicuous birds. They are very loud, and hop around not only on the ground while foraging there, but also up in the trees they inhabit. Steller’s Jays have very good memories, and can store plenty of nuts for the winter in caches.

Description/field marks: The Steller’s Jay is about 12 inches long, and it has a wingspan of about 17 inches. Steller’s Jays are royal blue on the back, wings, tail, and underside. They have distinctive black crests, and black upper backs, shoulders, heads, throat and breasts.

How to attract: Steller’s Jays readily come to bird feeders, so to attract them put out a suet or seed feeder.  Steller’s Jays will also take peanuts.

Steller's Jay

Steller's Jay

Steller's Jay

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