Steller’s Jay

Cyanocitta stelleri

 

Steller’s Jay Tracks

 
Jay cutout Jay cutout
 

 

Natural History of Steller’s Jays

Steller's jay and chicks in nest. Photo copyright Kim A. Cabrera 2008.

Steller's jay tending its chicks in the nest. This nest was located in a very well-hidden location under the eave of a building, with plants growing around it for concealment.
A Steller’s jay is a blue bird with a black crest and tufts of feathers on top of the head. This is the only California jay with a crest.  

jay

They are common in campgrounds and have been called "camp robbers" because of their habit of stealing food from picnic tables. Although noisy and conspicuous in campgrounds, they are quiet when near their nest sites. They are very secretive about hiding their nests.

Their tracks, which are smaller than those of the raven, show three toes facing forward and one toe facing backward.

They eat many things, including the young of other birds, fruit, berries, seeds, insects, and human food. Steller’s jays are bold and will grab food right off a picnic table if you turn your back.

Steller’s jays can imitate the calls of the red-tailed hawk and the golden eagle.

Jays will sit on fence posts or treetops to survey their surroundings. Because they spend much of their time in trees, the tracks you find on the ground will be paired.

Stellers jay feathers. Photo by Kim A. Cabrera 2002.
Stellers Jay feathers

Steller's Jay. Photo copyright Kim A. Cabrera 2007.

Steller's jay feathers can show the dark stripes on a blue background seen on the bird's wings and tail. The darker feathers can be hard to find.
 

Steller's Jay. Photo copyright Kim A. Cabrera 2008.

A Steller's jay feeding on the ground.

 
Steller's Jay on branch. Photo copyright Kim A. Cabrera 2008.
Steller's jay calling from a perch on a branch.
 
Steller's Jay hollering. Photo copyright Kim A. Cabrera 2008.
This Steller's jay looks like it is hollering at the photographer!
 
steller's jay
Steller's jay eating bird seed
 
steller's jay
Steller's jay at bird feeding site. These jays readily visit bird feeders.
 
 

 

Personal Notes on Steller’s Jays

Steller's Jay that flew into my kitchen. Oct. 5-7, 1999. These birds are common around the campgrounds I work in. They will raid a picnic table quite boldly. I have had them land on the table and hop to within inches of me to grab a morsel of food that was dropped. I once saw two thrushes chasing a jay that had made off with one of their young. They apperently thought they could get it back. Sadly, that was not the case. So, the jay enjoys an occasional nestling in its diet.

The jay in the picture is one that flew into the kitchen and then couldn't figure out how to get out. He finally managed to make his way out the door, but not before making quite a mess!

 

Find jay and other bird posters, greeting cards, t-shirts, hats, and more in my new store.

Visit Beartracker's Nature Store at: www.dirt-time.com   Happy tracking!!

What else can you find in the nature store? Beartracker's animal tracks coloring book, T-shirts, sweatshirts, journals, book bags, toddler and infant apparel, mouse pads, posters, postcards, coffee mugs, travel mugs, clocks, Frisbees, bumper stickers, hats, stickers, and many more items. All with tracks or paw  prints, or nature scenes. Custom products are available. If you don't see the track you want on the product you want, email me and I can probably create it. Proceeds from all sales go to pay the monthly fees for this web site. You can help support this site as well as get great tracking products! Thank you!

 

Find other tracking products: www.zazzle.com/tracker8459*

 

Also visit these fine stores for more products of interest:

NDN Pride shop - For Indian Pride items for all tribes. Custom items available on request.

ASL Signs of Love - For anyone who uses or is learning ASL, American Sign Language. Custom name items and more are available here.

Get Every Child Outdoors (Get E.C.O.) - My shop dedicated to nature and getting kids interested in nature and the outdoors.

Sales from all stores give commissions to Beartracker's Animal Tracks Den, which helps keep this site online as a free service. We are celebrating ten years online this year!

 

 

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Got a jay story? E-mail me and tell me about it.

tracker777@hotmail.com

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Copyright 1997, 2009, 2016. Text, photos, and drawings by Kim A. Cabrera

Updated: Tuesday, January 26, 2016.