10 Different Types of Jay Birds

Are you fascinated by the beauty and diversity of birds? If so, you're in for a treat! In this article, I will introduce you to ten different types of jay birds that will leave you in awe of their vibrant colors and unique characteristics. Whether you're a bird enthusiast or simply curious about these feathered creatures, this article will provide you with an insight into the fascinating world of jay birds.

1. Blue Jay

a Blue Jay

The blue jay, scientifically known as Cyanocitta cristata, is a passerine bird belonging to the Corvidae family. This magnificent avian species is native to the eastern regions of North America. It predominantly inhabits the eastern and central United States, with some populations possibly engaging in migratory behavior. Additionally, resident populations can be found in Newfoundland, Canada, while breeding populations are scattered across southern Canada.

The blue jay thrives in both deciduous and coniferous forests, showcasing its adaptability. Notably, it is also a common sight in residential areas, adding a touch of natural beauty to our everyday lives. Adorned with a striking blue hue, complemented by a white chest and underparts, this bird boasts a distinctive blue crest. Furthermore, it sports a black, U-shaped collar around its neck, along with a black border behind the crest. Interestingly, both males and females exhibit similar size and plumage, which remains consistent throughout the year.

When it comes to sustenance, the blue jay primarily relies on a diverse diet. Its feeding habits encompass a wide range of food sources, including seeds and nuts, such as acorns, which it cleverly caches for later consumption. Additionally, this resourceful bird indulges in soft fruits, arthropods, and occasionally even small vertebrates.

2. California Scrub Jay

a California Scrub Jay

The California scrub jay, scientifically known as Aphelocoma californica, is a captivating species of scrub jay that thrives in the western regions of North America. Its habitat spans from southern British Columbia, all the way down to California and western Nevada near Reno, extending westward of the majestic Sierra Nevada mountain range.

Unlike its migratory counterparts, the California scrub jay is a resident bird, often spotted in urban areas where it can adapt and even grow accustomed to human presence. In fact, it is not uncommon to witness these remarkable creatures becoming quite tame, fearlessly approaching bird feeders in search of sustenance.

It is worth noting that despite the common misconception, the California scrub jay should not be confused with the blue jay, as they belong to distinct species of birds. While both possess a striking blue plumage, their characteristics and behaviors set them apart.

3. Canada Jay

a Canada Jay

The remarkably adorable Canada Jay, also referred to as the gray jay, grey jay, camp robber, or whisky jack, stands out as one of the most courageous avian species in North America. These resilient birds inhabit the northern forests throughout the year, fearlessly raising their chicks even in the depths of winter. Possessing an insatiable curiosity and an unwavering vigilance for sustenance, Canada Jays have an incredibly diverse diet, consuming everything from succulent berries to small creatures.

They may even alight upon your hand to snatch a raisin or peanut, showcasing their audacious nature. During the summer months, these resourceful birds diligently store food in trees, ensuring their survival during the harsh and desolate winters.

4. Florida Scrub Jay

a Florida Scrub Jay

The Florida scrub jay, scientifically known as Aphelocoma coerulescens, is a remarkable species of scrub jay that is native to North America. It holds a unique distinction as the sole bird species endemic to the U.S. state of Florida, making it a highly coveted sighting for avid birders. In fact, it is one of only 15 species that can be found exclusively within the continental United States.

This magnificent bird has a rich history, having existed as a distinct species in Florida for a staggering period of at least 2 million years. Its origins can be traced back to the ancestors of Woodhouse's scrub jay, further adding to its fascinating lineage.

5. Green Jay

a Green Jay

The green jay is a remarkable species belonging to the New World jays, predominantly found in the captivating landscapes of Central America. These avian creatures boast an average length of approximately 27 cm (11 in) and exhibit a captivating array of colors across their habitat. Typically, they flaunt striking blue and black heads, complemented by vibrant green wings and mantle, bluish-green tails, and dark legs. Their bills are black, while their eye rings can vary between shades of yellow and brown.

In terms of sustenance, the green jay maintains a diverse diet, encompassing arthropods, vertebrates, seeds, and fruit. This versatile palate ensures their adaptability and survival in their natural environment.

When it comes to nesting, these resourceful birds exhibit a preference for thorny bushes, where they skillfully construct their nests. The responsibility of incubating the clutch of three to five eggs primarily falls upon the female green jay.

Despite their widespread presence, the green jay remains a species of least concern according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. This classification reflects the relatively stable population and the absence of immediate threats to their existence.

6. Eurasian Jay

an Eurasian Jay

The Eurasian jay, a member of the crow family Corvidae, is a captivating passerine bird. Adorned with pinkish brown plumage, it boasts a striking black stripe on each side of its whitish throat, a vibrant blue panel on its upper wing, and a sleek black tail. This woodland dweller can be found across an expansive territory, spanning from western Europe and north-west Africa to the Indian subcontinent, and extending further to the eastern seaboard of Asia and down into south-east Asia.

Remarkably, within this vast range, various distinct racial forms have emerged, each exhibiting unique characteristics, particularly when comparing forms at the outermost edges of its habitat.

7. Steller's Jay

a Steller's Jay

The Steller's jay, scientifically known as Cyanocitta stelleri, is a bird that is indigenous to western North America and the mountains of Central America. It is closely related to the blue jay and is the sole crested jay found west of the Rocky Mountains. While occasionally referred to as a blue jay in the Pacific Northwest, it is worth noting that it is a distinct species from the blue jay. The Steller's jay primarily inhabits pine-oak and coniferous forests.

8. Mexican Jay

a Mexican Jay

The Mexican jay, previously referred to as the gray-breasted jay, is a species of New World jay that is indigenous to the Sierra Madre Oriental, Sierra Madre Occidental, and Central Plateau of Mexico, as well as certain regions of the southwestern United States. In May 2011, the American Ornithologists Union made the decision to classify the Mexican jay into two distinct species. One retains the common name Mexican jay, while the other is now known as the Transvolcanic jay.

The Mexican jay is a medium-sized jay, characterized by its blue upper parts and pale gray underparts. It bears a resemblance to the Woodhouse's scrub-jay, although it can be distinguished by its unmarked throat. This species primarily sustains itself by consuming acorns and pine nuts, although it also incorporates a variety of other plant and animal-based foods into its diet.

9. Woodhouse's Scrub Jay

a Woodhouse's Scrub Jay

The Woodhouse's Scrub Jay is a native species of scrub jay found in western North America, spanning from southeastern Oregon and southern Idaho to central Mexico. Previously, it was classified as the same species as the California Scrub Jay, collectively known as the Western Scrub Jay. Prior to that, both were also considered the same species as the Island Scrub Jay and the Florida Scrub Jay, and were simply referred to as the Scrub Jay.

Unlike migratory birds, the Woodhouse's Scrub Jay is nonmigratory and can be commonly observed in urban areas, where it can become accustomed to human presence and even visit bird feeders. It is worth noting that although many people mistakenly refer to scrub jays as blue jays, the Blue Jay is an entirely different species of bird.

The Woodhouse's Scrub Jay owes its name to the renowned American naturalist and explorer, Samuel Washington Woodhouse.

10. Pinyon Jay

a Pinyon Jay

The Pinyon Jay, scientifically known as Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus, is a unique species of jay that stands alone in its genus. This remarkable bird is native to the vast expanse of Western North America, stretching from central Oregon to northern Baja California. Its range extends eastward as far as western Oklahoma, although occasional sightings have been reported beyond this established territory. The Pinyon Jay thrives predominantly in foothill regions, particularly in areas where pinyon pines flourish.


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