A large, blue jay similar to scrub-jays, but stouter. Has blue head with slightly darker blue cheek, but generally lacks the facial contrasts seen in scrub-jays. Eye black; dark eye-line indistinct. Long black bill, often with variable white patch at base. Throat is slightly paler than grayish breast. Wings blue, gray back, belly grayish-white. Long blue tail. On juvenile birds, the basal two-thirds of the bill is fleshy pinkish. Birds of the more westerly populations retain a pale base to the bill into their second year, while easterly populations do not exhibit this delay in acquiring an all-dark adult bill coloration (Brown and Horvath 1989 Auk 106: 124-128). Western Scrub-Jay has contrasting dark cheek, as well as throat streaking and a blue breast band. Pinyon Jay has a short tail, blue breast, and pointed bill.
Length: 29 (cm) Wingspan: 50 (cm)
Harsh, rising jait, similar to Western Scrub-Jay but softer.
Inhabits mountainous oak, pine and juniper woodlands.
Caches acorns and nuts. Forms groups of 5-25 birds. Flock members help by feeding young, mobbing, and warning other members of predators.
Diet includes lizards, insects, bird nestling and eggs, carrion, fruit, acorns and nuts.
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