Steller’s Jay

Jet Eliot

Steller's Jay, California Steller’s Jay, California

The only crested jay west of the Rockies, the Steller’s Jay can be found in forested areas, primarily coniferous.  In the same Genus as the Blue Jay, they are strictly found in western North America.

Birders associate them, and rightly so, with the mountains.  When you hear that characteristic shuck-shuck-shuck you know the elegant crested jay is nearby.  Cyanocitta stelleri also have many other sounds.  Like other birds in the corvid family, they mimic birds.  I am still sometimes fooled when a very talented steller’s jay does a spot-on impersonation of a red-tailed hawk.

Like all jays, their size is quite large.  The steller’s jay is about 11 inches (29 cm) long.  Their omnivore diet is variable with berries, fruit, insects, spiders, bird eggs, and even table scraps.  In the fall, they can be seen doggedly collecting acorns all day long in preparation for the winter.  They…

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