Look for California Scrub-Jays on the West Coast
The raucous call of the California scrub-jay reflects its mischievous behavior. This bright blue western species loves peanuts.
Courtesy Ellen Rayl
What Do California Scrub-Jays Look Like?
California scrub-jays, formerly known as western scrub jays, are members of the crow or corvid family. Western scrub-jays were split into two species—Woodhouse’s and California—in 2016. Both males and females are bright blue with a white belly and gray patch on the back. Unlike blue jays, they do not have a head crest. These birds measure 11 1/2 inches long with a wingspan of 15 1/2 inches. Learn how to identify and attract blue jays.
California Scrub-Jay Nest and Eggs
After the pair builds a bulky nest of twigs in a low tree or shrub, the female lays three to six green or gray spotted eggs. Steller’s jays are clever black and blue birds.
California Scrub-Jay Call
Hoarse rising call of “shreeeenk” or a rapid series “quay-quay-quay” or “cheek-cheek-cheek.”
Listen to their song:
Bird songs provided by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Courtesy Sandeep Dhar
What Do California Scrub-Jays Eat?
California Scrub-Jay Range Map and Habitat
Look for these birds in oak woods, pinyon-juniper woods, parks and backyards. The species is primarily found in coastal regions of the west. A close relative, the island scrub-jay, lives only on California’s Santa Cruz Island.
Range maps provided by Kaufman Field Guides, the official field guide of Birds & Blooms.