California Scrub-Jay

About the California Scrub-Jay
Also known as: Santa Cruz Jay, Western Scrub-Jay

California Scrub-Jays are medium-sized birds of the crow and jay family. They are found along the western coast of the United States and down Baja California. Until 2016 they were "lumped" with the Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay as the species Western Scrub-Jay. 

California Scrub-Jays feed on fruit and seeds during the summer, switching to a diet of mostly nuts and seeds in other parts of the year. They are especially known for eating acorns, hammering at the hard nuts with their bills to get the nutmeat inside.

These jays inhabit oak woodlands, scrublands, and suburban areas across California and parts of the Pacific Northwest. They build their nests in trees or shrubs, using twigs, leaves, and other plant materials. California Scrub-Jays are omnivorous, with a diet that includes insects, fruits, seeds, and small animals. Their adaptability in feeding and nesting makes them successful in a variety of habitats.

California Scrub-Jays are known to exploit deer parasites. The birds will stand on the backs of mule deer and eat ticks and other insects on the deer in a mutually beneficial relationship.

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California Scrub-Jay Photos

Details & Statistics

International Names

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Birdorable California Scrub-Jay

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