California Scrub-Jay

About the California Scrub-Jay
Also known as: Santa Cruz Jay, Western Scrub-Jay
California 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. Their preferred habitat is scrubland and woodlands. 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.

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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Details & Statistics


The California Scrub-Jay is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List and was last assessed in 2012 by BirdLife International. This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

International Names

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