Steller's Jay

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Cyanocitta Stelleri 

Steller's Jay

Adults have black erected crest on head top, some bluish streaks on forehead and chin. Head, back and upper breast are blackish. The upperparts are dark blue, including wings and tail.

The underparts are greenish-blue on lower breast and belly, and brighter blue on the vent and undertail coverts. Under wings are gray.

Birds from Central and Southern Rockies, have a long crest, paler back, white streaks on forehead and chin, and white crescent around eyes. Their wings show narrow black barring, rump and tail have a black barring, overall towards the tip of the tail. Bill is black and pointed. Eyes, legs and feet are black too.

Both sexes are similar, with the female slightly smaller than male.

Juveniles resemble the adult, but they have a grayish-black head and body.

BILL: black, pointed.

SIZE: large songbird, measuring about 12 - 13 inches in length, with a wingspan of 17.3 inches.

WEIGHT: weighs about 100 - 140 grams.

COLOR: black, blue, dark blue, greenish-blue white and gray.

Nuts, pine seeds and acorns. Also consumes eggs of other birds, and it scavenges in developed human areas.

Pine-oak woodlands and coniferous forests; open woodlands, gardens and orchards.

The southern coast of Alaska, southward through the Rocky Mountains into Mexico, through Central America to north-central Nicaragua. The western edge is along the Pacific coast and eastward to eastern Colorado.

CALL: Include series of raucous “shack” or “shooka” notes. It has a large variety of loud and harsh calls, some mimicry (screams of hawks), harsh “shaar” and rapid “shek-shek-shek”.

SONG: A soft warbler.

NEST: The nest is built by both sexes. It is a cup-shaped nest made of hick plant fibers, twigs and rootlets, held with mud, and lined with needles, rootlets and fine materials, and often with some bits of paper to adorn outside.

EGGS: 2 - 6 bluish-green eggs, spotted dark brown, purplish or olive.

INCUBATION: 16 - 18 days, female fed by the male.

NESTLING PHASE: 16 - 18 days.

They are bold, inquisitive, intelligent, and noisy and spend much of their time exploring the forest canopy, flying with patient wingbeats.

They come to the forest floor to investigate visitors and look for food, moving with decisive hops of their long legs.

The oldest recorded Steller’s Jay was a male, and at least 16 years 1 month old.


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