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Western Scrub Jay
Corvidae
Aphelocoma californica
Type: Bird

Effect: Helper
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Corvidae Family
Aphelocoma Genus


Location / Where this Creature is found:

Utah

Description

White beard, blue back, gray belly

General information about Western Scrub Jay :

The Western Scrub-Jay is nonmigratory and can be found in urban areas, where it can become tame and will come to bird feeders. While many refer to scrub-jays as "blue jays", the Blue Jay is a different species of bird entirely. In recent years, the California Scrub-Jay has expanded its range north into the Puget Sound region of Washington.

They feed on small animals, such as frogs and lizards, eggs and young of other birds, insects, and (particularly in winter) grains, nuts, and berries, and can be aggressive towards other birds, for example,they steal hoarded acrons from Acorn Woodpecker granery trees.

Food storing
Western Scrub-Jays, like many other corvids, exploit ephemeral surpluses by storing food in scattered caches within their territories. They rely on highly accurate and complex memories to recover the hidden caches, often after long periods of time . In the process of collecting and storing this food, they have shown an ability to plan ahead in choosing cache sites to provide adequate food volume and variety for the future. Western Scrub-Jays are also able to rely on their accurate observational spatial memories to steal food from caches made by conspecifics. To protect their caches from potential 'pilferers', food storing birds implement a number of strategies to reduce this risk of theft.
Western Scrub-Jays are also known for hoarding and burying brightly colored objects. Western Scrub-Jays have a mischievous streak, and they’re not above outright theft. They’ve been caught stealing acorns from Acorn Woodpecker caches and robbing seeds and pine cones from Clark’s Nutcrackers. They even seem aware of their guilt: some scrub-jays steal acorns they’ve watched other jays hide. When these birds go to hide their own acorns, they check first that no other jays are watching. You might see Western Scrub-Jays standing on the back of a mule deer. They’re picking off and eating ticks and other parasites. The deer seem to appreciate the help, often standing still and holding up their ears to give the jays access.The Scrub Jay even will eat peanuts off of a human hand.

Recent research has suggested that Western Scrub-Jays, along with several other corvids, are among the most intelligent of animals. The brain-to-body mass ratio of adult Scrub Jays rivals that of chimpanzees and cetaceans, and is dwarfed only by that of humans. Scrub Jays are also the only non-primate shown to plan ahead for the future, which was previously thought of as a uniquely human trait Other studies have shown that they can remember locations of over 200 food caches, as well as the food item in each cache and its rate of decay.
The life span of wild Western Scrub Jays is approximately 9 years.



VIDEO: Western Scrub Jay - YouTube.com



Western Scrub Jay




Western Scrub Jay




Western Scrub Jay




Western Scrub Jay




Western Scrub Jay - male




Western Scrub Jay
The markings around the eyes indicate that this is a male.



Western Scrub Jay


Comment: Western Scrub Jay

Page Posts: 2

cherokee_greg
cherokee_greg
July 17, 2011
wow I did not know they were called scrub Jays !I like watching them in my yard. They always run the other birds out of the bird baths.Thanks
steverino99
steverino99
June 13, 2011
Let's hear it for the scrub jays for their foresight and planning abilities. They shalt not steal, however.

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