Blue Jays, Scrub Jays and Steller’s Jays

by Larry Jordan on October 16, 2008

Blue Jay photo by Bob Sheldon

This is a photo of a Blue Jay which many people get mixed up with Bluebirds, Western Scrub Jays or Steller’s Jays.  My friend Seabrooke wrote an exceptional post on the Blue Jay that I want you to read.  You can find her post here: Bold and Bossy. The Jays are members of the Corvidae family that includes Crows and Magpies.  We have the Gray-breasted Jay, Pinion Jay, Gray Jay, Western Scrub Jay, Steller’s Jay and Clark’s Nutcracker here in the West, whereas they have the Gray Jay and Blue Jay in the East.  I wrote a post last year on our western Fall Bird Watching Jays.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Vickie October 17, 2008 at 7:15 pm

Hi Larry,
I love the jays because they are so raucous. I saw my first Steller’s jay while visiting NM in June. What an announcement he made from high in a tree. Also had my first encounter with a Clark’s nutcracker in Wyoming in much the same way. It was his voice that lead me to him.

Enjoyed my visit. Thanks for stopping by to see the whooping cranes!

Vickies last blog post..Whooping Crane Family–Part V


Larry October 17, 2008 at 10:47 pm

Hi Vickie, Thanks for the update. They are rather rowdy aren’t they? I just want to tell everyone to go see Vickie’s whooping crane photos. They are absolutely INCREDIBLE!


Seabrooke October 20, 2008 at 8:20 am

Thanks for the plug! Jays are a really fun group of birds. I really like the nutcracker and am always excited to see one when I travel west, they may be my favourite member of the group.


Larry October 21, 2008 at 9:59 pm

Hi Seabrooke, yours is a wonderful post and thank you for sharing it. I too love the Nutcracker, especially its high contrasted plumage of gray, black and white.


Tashi December 20, 2008 at 6:37 am

I saw a bluejay in Florida today (12/20/08) is that common


Larry December 20, 2008 at 8:57 pm

@Tashi Blue Jays are very common in Florida and depending on where you are in Florida, you may see some Florida Scrub Jays as well. The Florida Scrub Jay has no crest and no white on its wings or tail like the Blue Jay does. It also lacks the fancy black necklace the Blue Jay wears.


SK April 4, 2014 at 9:11 am

We had a lot of scrub Jays at our feeders then some Stellar Jays showed up and now the Scrub jays are gone. Why ?


Larry May 26, 2014 at 6:02 am

They do compete for food but I have had both species visiting my yard at the same time, usually during the winter. It could be that the scrub-jays are beginning to nest and that’s why you haven’t seen them.


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