Saturday, September 12, 2009

Western Scrub-Jay

Growing up in New England, my favorite outdoor bird was the blue jay. Sassy and inquisitive, they have such great character. After moving to California, I was disappointed to learn that we don't have blue jays. Instead we have Stellar Jays and Western Scrub-Jays.

Western Scrub-Jays are very similar to Blue Jays: smart, curious, and very loud.

They have a very distinctive call. There are several scrub jays that I hear at work all day. Look at his white bib!

Last week at the Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park, I saw a scrub jay. He was hanging around the cactus section. He let me take 100 pictures of him. I really like how the feathers beneath his wings are fine and wispy.

When I first saw the scrub jay, he was on top of a long thin stalk, about 15 feet in the air. The picture isn't great because of the angle and the clouds, but I like how his head is slightly cocked as if he's asking, "What are you doing with that camera?"

At one point the scrub jay was standing on top of one of the stalks and I got a picture just as he was leaving. I really like how his wings become a blur.


  1. Thanks for the beautiful shots of this jay. Here in Southern Oregon we have both Stellar's and Scrub Jays - both alike in resourcefulness and intelligence, but the Stellars Jays a LOT louder and more raucous. They will often mimic hawk cries, which confuses the daylights out of humans and other birds alike.

  2. Shannon, it would be very confusing to think hawk and see a Stellar's Jay. We have a few in the neighborhood, but I haven't heard them.


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