Scrub Jay
Aphelocoma coerulescens

Scrub jays are our most obvious resident birds with their bright colors and noisy harsh sqawks. One's first impulse is to call them blue jays but they have their own distinct appearance that separates them from that eastern relative. A scrub jay is blue with a gray saddle on the back. The undersides are white with a blue necklace that doesn't quite reach across the front. It has a white eyebrow and darker markings around the eye. Scrub jays lack the crest of the Steller's jay that lives in the evergreen forests of neighboring mountains.

Scrub jays are found in almost every yard and woodland thicket. They are aggressive birds and signal the presence of an intruder with loud persistent calls. They feed on almost everything - acorns, nuts, fruit, insects, bird's eggs and nestlings. They are good gardeners and plant many trees by thumping acorns and nuts into the ground where they think they are storing a bit of food for a later meal. The nest is made of interlaced twigs lined with availabel scraps of string or horse hair.

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