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Steller's Jay

Scientific Name:

Cyanocitta stelleri




Evergreen forests most often in mountains


Mountainous areas of western North America


Least Concern (IUCN Red List)

This species is


to the Truckee Meadows.


Steller's jays are large jays most recognizable by the tall, black crests of feathers on their heads. Their heads and shoulders are also black, with the rest of their bodies covered in blue feathers. Steller's jays can be distinguished from other jay species by their lack fo white feathers on their bellies and undersides. These birds have long, slightly bent beaks. The most distinct Steller's jays call is a "shook shook shook shook" sound that they make year-round.

Fast Facts:

  • Steller's jays and blue jays are the only two western hemisphere jay species that build their nests using mud.

  • Steller's jays are excellent at mimicking the sounds of other animals such as birds, squirrels, cats, dogs, chickens, and even some machines.

  • Steller's jays often steal the nests of other birds.



Haley McGuire (research & content)

Miranda Sanford (photo)

Alex Shahbazi (edits & page design)

Last Updated:

March 27, 2024 at 1:48:22 AM

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