Steller’s Jay


Taken by abear. Cyanocitta stelleri. Gorgeous birds, these, and I’m jealous, we don’t have them here in ND. Click for full size.

midwinter-2016-014

Comments

  1. nahuati says

    I’ve never seen a Steller’s Jay, so I looked it up. They certainly are beautiful birds.

    The Steller’s jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) is a jay native to western North America, closely related to the blue jay found in the rest of the continent, but with a black head and upper body. It is also known as the long-crested jay, mountain jay, and pine jay. It is the only crested jay west of the Rocky Mountains.

    The Steller’s jay shows a great deal of regional variation throughout its range.[2] Blackish-brown-headed birds from the north gradually become bluer-headed farther south. The Steller’s jay has a more slender bill and longer legs than the blue jay and has a much more pronounced crest. It is also somewhat larger. The head is blackish-brown with light blue streaks on the forehead. This dark coloring gives way from the shoulders and lower breast to silvery blue. The primaries and tail are a rich blue with darker barring.

    It occurs in coniferous forest over much of the western half of North America from Alaska in the north to northern Nicaragua[3] completely replacing the blue jay in most of those areas. Some hybridization with the blue jay in Colorado has been reported. The Steller’s jay lives in coniferous and mixed woodland, but not in completely dense forest, and requires open space. It typically lives in flocks of greater than 10 individuals. In autumn, flocks often visit oak woods when acorns are ripe.

  2. abear says

    Thanks for the compliments.
    Steller’s Jays really have a gorgeous electric iridescent blue color.
    This angle doesn’t show some of the more spectacular features of this bird like the head markings seen on ahead on shot or the barred, ultra blue wings visible from a side/back view.
    They can get bold when you feed them but not quite as bold as the Gray Jay aka Whiskeyjack, so though you can’t usually handfeed them they can be lured to come fairly close for pictures. Haven’t figured out how to get them to stay still though. lol

  3. says

    abear:

    Haven’t figured out how to get them to stay still though. lol

    They aren’t much for staying still. :D

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