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. 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

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 26 January 2018
Scientific Name
Aphelocoma californica
  • Passeriformes
  • Corvidae
  • Aphelocoma
  • A. californica
Conservation Status
Least Concern (as of 29 April 2020)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
Units: Imperial / Metric
11 to 11.8 inches
15.4 inches
2.5 to 3.5 ounces

International Names

Chinese (汉语) 西丛鸦
Czech (Cesky) sojka západní
Danish (Dansk) Kratskade
Dutch (Nederlands) Westelijke Struikgaai
Finnish (Suomi) kalifornianpensasnärhi
French (Français) Geai buissonnier
German (Deutsch) Kalifornienhäher
Italian (Italiano) Ghiandaia occidentale
Japanese (日本語) アメリカカケス [amerikakakesu]
Norwegian (Norsk) Krattskrike
Polish (Polski) modrowronka kalifornijska
Portuguese (Português) Gaio-dos-matos-ocidental
Russian (русский язык) Западная кустарниковая сойка
Spanish (Español) Chara Californiana
Swedish (Svenska) västlig snårskrika
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