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California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)


Photo © Brian Sullivan/Macaulay Library

California Scrub-Jay eggs

Photo © Liz McMaster

California Scrub-Jay eggs

Photo © Floyd Schrock

California Scrub-Jay Eggs

Photo © RenĂ© Corado

California Scrub-Jay adult

Photo © Jeffrey Rogers

California Scrub-Jay adult

Photo © Michael Rieser/Macaulay Library

California Scrub-Jay juveniles

Photo © Brian Sullivan/Macaulay Library

California Scrub-Jay

Photo © Michael Rieser/Macaulay Library

Adult

Photo © Gary Witt

Adult

Photo © Lorcan Keating

Adult

Photo © MMATM

Adult

Photo © Lorcan Keating

Adult

Photo © lee.karney2

Juvenile

Photo © Lorcan Keating

Juvenile

Photo © Lorcan Keating

Adult

Photo © Lorcan Keating

Adult

Photo © spicysquid1

Calls

© Gregory F. Budney; Geoffrey A. Keller

Juvenile calls

© Curtis A. Marantz

When To Look

Source: Birds of North America Online

Where To Find It

Habitats

open woodland

shrub

Substrates

Live Tree Branch

Bush or Shrub

Vine or Tangle

What You'll Find

Nest Type

cup

Chick

Altricial

Clutch Size

1
2
3
5

Nest Height

14 ft
6 ft

Nesting Statistics

Incubation Period

17-19
days

Brooding Period

16-26
days

Useful Hints

  • California Scrub-Jay and Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay were considered a single species known as Western Scrub-Jay until 2016.
  • Both members of a pair help with nest-building.
  • Either sex selects a nest site and initiates nest construction. A potential nest site is indicated to the mate by making an undulating flight to the site while producing loud flight vocalizations, often while carrying nest material. Wheeze vocalizations are produced upon approach to the site.
  • Nests are often well hidden amid foliage, vines, and mistletoe.
  • Scrub-Jays frequently constructs nest platforms, especially at the onset of nesting season, that are never used.