Sisters Country birds

 

Last updated 4/19/2022 at Noon

Douglas Beall

Steller’s Jay — a raucous mimic.

Raucous, boisterous, annoying, disagreeable are just a few terms used to describe the Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri). Granted, much of their behavior can be described as loutish, and appreciating these forest birds can be challenging, however the mixed blues of their feathers are nothing but stunning and observing their creative ways is intriguing.

The Steller’s Jay is a master mimic; crying babies, red-tailed hawks, cats, dogs, and other birds are just a few calls heard from these jays. This jay was discovered first in Alaska in 1741 by naturalist George Steller, who was traveling on a Russian exploration ship. When they first saw the Steller’s, they knew they had reached the Americas. The oldest Steller’s Jay recorded was 16 years old.

Their nest is a bulky cup of leaves, stems, moss, and sticks, lined with pine needles and animal hair. Two to six bluish eggs with brown or purple spots are laid and hatch in 16 days. The chicks fledge in another 14-16 days. They consume a variety of foods, including seeds, berries, nuts, small animals, eggs, and nestlings.

A collection of jays is called a cast, scold, party, or band.

For more Steller’s Jay images visit http://abirdsingsbecauseithasasong.com/recent-journeys.

 

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