This guy decided to visit one morning while we were making breakfast in a campground in Yellowstone National Park…
- Steller’s and Blue jays are the only North American jays with crests. The Blue Jay is expanding its range westward. Where they meet, the two species occasionally interbreed and produce hybrids.
- Steller’s Jays have the dubious honor of being one of the most frequently misspelled names in all of bird watching. Up close, the bird’s dazzling mix of azure and blue is certainly stellar, but that’s not how you spell their name. Steller’s Jays were discovered on an Alaskan island in 1741 by Georg Steller, a naturalist on a Russian explorer’s ship. When a scientist officially described the species, in 1788, they named it after him – along with other discoveries including the Steller’s sea lion and Steller’s Sea-Eagle.
- The Steller’s Jay and the Blue Jay are the only New World jays that use mud to build their nests.
- The Steller’s Jay shows a great deal of variation in appearance throughout its range, with some populations featuring black crests and backs, and others blue. One black-crested form in southern Mexico is surrounded by eight other blue-crested forms.
- Steller’s Jays are habitual nest-robbers, like many other jay species. They’ve occasionally been seen attacking and killing small adult birds including a Pygmy Nuthatch and a Dark-eyed Junco.
- An excellent mimic with a large repertoire, the Steller’s Jay can imitate birds, squirrels, cats, dogs, chickens, and some mechanical objects.
- The oldest recorded Steller’s Jay was 16 years 1 month old.
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Incredibly beautiful…with is black crest. It’s been so very long since I’ve been anywhere near the Rocky Mountains…used to see this often. Lovin’ it.
is=”its” Sorry for the typo
Great shots! Haven’t seen one here for several years.
He is so handsome with his black crest and blue outfit
What a wonderful looking bird, and great shots.
Beautiful photos and such great info. Thanks for a great post!
Great photos and information Erin… Nice to see the cousin of our blue jays… Michelle
He’s a beauty.
beautiful bird and great photos…I especially like the last one with all the bokeh
When I lived in the mountains outside of Boulder, Colorado, the neighborhood kids used to call these “Darth Vader Birds”.
We were in Yosemite at the end of May and saw many Steller’s jays. They really are beautiful.