Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Part Three of Three
Steller's Jay (cyanocitta stelleri)
This is the last installment of the three part series. Those of you that have been following it already know that it will be covering the Steller's Jay. The Steller's Jay is one of North Americas most beautiful and striking birds due to it's dramatic blue color. They are often overlooked as such because they are very common and well they can be pretty obnoxious at times. They have a raspy call and they are pretty well known to be noisy and kind of a pest scavenging around campgrounds. In my backyard feeders I have come to know them as the Backyard Bullies. They typically come to the feeder in a gang and try to keep everyone away when they feed.
In appearance as I have already stated they are a beautiful blue. Their body is all blue darkening into a head and shoulders that is almost a blue black. Their head is cowned with a dark crest. The Pacific version where I live has a neon blue thin stripes running up the side of the forhead into the crest. As you go further east towards the interior this is usually more white.The bills and feet are dark gray to black.The tail and wings are also blue with blue black barring. Size wise they are eleven and a half inches tall with a nineteen inch wingspan. Alltogether a very handsome bird.
Their range is widespread over much of the western part of North America. It extends from the southern part of the panhandle of Alaska south through the intermountain region of the Rocky Mountains extending all the way to Nicaragua in South America.They are found all along the cost of North America from Alaska down to the lower part of Cental California.
They are omnivorous and eat a wide variety of food. I have watched them attempting to kill birds smaller than themselves. They eat seeds,acorns,frogs,lizards,insects,berries and fruit. A pretty varied diet.
They make a messy nest made up of sticks,twigs and leaves lined with grass and other soft materials. There is pair every year that nests above my Mom's porchlight! They lay two to six eggs that hatch out insixteen days. The young leave the nest in about eighteen days.
A pretty gregarious bird that adapts well to living around humans. They are not a species of concern either probably because of that adaptible behavior. They easliy take to bird feeders and robbing people of their food and scraps at campgrounds.
I hope you enjoyed this little mini series.
God's love and blessings to everyone,