California Scrub-Jay

The California Scrub-Jay can be found all along the west coast, and has thrived in urban environments, making them a regular in backyards in the Willamette Valley.

California Scrub-Jay, photo by Scott Carpenter

About the California Scrub-Jay

Size & Shape: 12″. Medium-sized, long-tailed, without crest.

Color: Blue above (head, wings) with brown back patch, white eyebrow, dark cheek, white throat with partial blue breast band, blue-gray underside.

Behavior: Omnivorous. Eats more seeds in fall, winter, often buries acorns for future retrieval, visits bird feeders. Forages frequently on ground, in brush, usually in flocks. Secretive when nesting.

Habitat: Prefers deciduous, scrubby, open or semi-open terrain with thick brush, neighborhoods, gardens, farms, often near oaks.

Field Marks: Blue head with white eyebrow, neck wings and tail, brownish gray back, white throat, light gray underparts, long blue tail.

Voice: Listen here.

Fun Facts: California Scrub-Jays have been known to steal acorns from Acorn Woodpeckers and other jays. Because of that, California Scrub-Jays will look around before hiding their food to make sure no other jays are watching.

Scientific Name: Aphelocoma californica