BIRD OF THE WEEK / WEEK 31: July 30, 2018
© Liron Gertsman
30-34 cm length | 44 cm wingspan | 100-140 gm weight
Closely related to the blue jay, the Steller’s jay has longer legs, a more slender bill and a much larger crest. They have a long body, an often upright stance, broad, rounded wings and a long tail
The Steller’s jay has a brown-black or blue-black head that gradually fades down through the chest and shoulders turning to grey-blue and eventually bright blue in the primaries and tail. The tail and wings have black barring. They may have light-blue streaks on the forehead and a small, white patch above the eye. The legs and bill are black
Habitat / Behaviour
Omnivore | Woodland
The Steller’s jay prefers forests and heavily wooded areas although it isn’t uncommon to see them in lightly wooded environments or residential and agricultural areas that have a forest nearby
Steller’s jays forage in trees and on the ground for plant and animal matter. They eat a considerable amount of coniferous seeds and acorns and a wide variety of other seeds and nuts, berries and invertebrates. They may also take eggs and nestlings, small rodents and small reptiles
Monogamous | Tree nester | 2-6 Greenish-blue eggs with brown speckles | 1 broods
Calls include the harsh SHACK-Sheck-sheck-sheck-sheck-sheck or a skreeka! skreeka! They also make a softer hoodle hoodle whistle. It is known for its vocal mimicry, imitating other birds, animals and man-made sounds. They will imitate the call of raptors to successfully frighten away smaller birds from shared feeding sources
- The Vancouver International Bird Festival – Save the Dates!
- Join us on an amazing adventure!
- The Steller’s Jay on Location!
- Discover, Learn, Expore at the Bird Expo August 23 – 25
- Get the Vancouver bird checklist on the web or on your iPhone.
- 10 Simple Birding Tips
- Check out the International Ornithological Congress
- What else is going on for the Vancouver International Bird Festival?