WESTERN SCRUB JAY


Aphelocoma californica


Description:

Western Scrub Jays are inadvertant tree farmers as they store acorns in the ground and never reclaim as many as they bury. They can often be seen foraging along the ground or perching high up in a tree or large shrub near their territory. They make a loud and brash call. These birds have a large and varied diet that consists of insects, carrion, fruits, and often rob the nests of other birds. This is one of the few birds that can feed on hairy catipillers. The hairs, which irritate most bird stomachs, are "rubbed off" against the ground by the Jay.


Appearance:

Blue upperparts, white/grey underparts. White throat. Black eye area bordered on top by a white line. Large brownish area between wings. Black bill and legs. Long tail. 10 to 11 inches in length.


Habitat:

Woodlands and large thickets.


Nesting:

3-6 dark green or reddish eggs with spots and a 15-17 day incubation period. Fledging occurs 18-19 days after hatching. The nest is made from twigs and is well hidden in a tree or dense shrub.


Observed Locations:

  • Lake Murray, La Mesa
  • Mission Trails Regional Park, San Diego
  • FRNC, Point Loma
  • "The Drip", Cabrillo National Monument, Point Loma
  • Palomar Mountain
  • Mount Laguna
  • Paso Picaco Campground, Cuyamaca State Park





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