Woodhouse Scrub Jay
A Woodhouse Scrub-Jay is a fun bird to see while bird watching. Below are some tips to help you identify Woodhouse Scrub Jays. We have also put together a list of fun Woodhouse Scrub-Jay t-shirts, Woodhouse Scrub-Jay bird patches, birdhouses, bird feeders, binoculars, stickers, and other fun bird-watching items.
About Woodhouse Scrub Jays
The Woodhouse Scrub-Jay is one of the Scrub Jay species that originates from western North America. This bird is non-migratory and can often be found in urban areas where it can become tame to birdfeeders. It is often wrongfully referred to as ‘Blue Jays’, however, the Blue Jay is a different species entirely.
Description and Identification
Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jays are beautiful birds that have derived their name from the American explorer Samuel Washington Woodhouse. These medium-sized birds are 11-12 inches long, with a wingspan of 15 inches. The plumage of these birds is primarily blue, gray, white, but the variations of blue might differ according to the regions Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jays reside in. Birds living around the coasts are brighter than those that live in the interior portion of their range. The tail, wings, and head of Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jays are blue, their underparts are grayish, and their backs are a mixture of gray and brown. They have a blue necklace on their whitish throat. Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jays have a harsh and scratchy call.
Woodhouse Scrub Jay Color Pattern
They are light blue and gray in color on their upper side while their underside has a more distinct array of colors with a white throat, gray belly which is separated by a partial breast band of blue. It is important to note that in birds, the color blue depends on the lighting, therefore in this particular species; it can appear to be simply dark.
Woodhouse Scrub Jay Size
Woodhouse Scrub Jay is a medium sized bird that measures approximately;
- Length- 27-31cm (11-12 in)
- Wingspan- 39cm (15in)
- Weight- 80g (2.8 oz)
Woodhouse Scrub Jay Behavior
- While flying, they seem slow and underpowered with stints of alternate fluttering and glides.
- They tend to act as lookouts and are characteristically found high in trees, on wires, and on posts.
- They forage mainly on the ground and on trees and do so singly or in family units during the breeding season and in larger flocks for the rest of the seasons
Woodhouse Scrub Jay Diet
Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jays have a diet that greatly varies seasonally. During spring and summer,
they mostly sustain fruits and insects, and they switch to a diet mainly consisting of seeds and
nuts during winter. These birds also eat some small animals such as younglings of birds and
lizards. The plant materials consumed by these birds include peanuts, juniper berries, grass seeds,
sunflower seeds, and pine nuts. Although these birds are unable to break open pine nuts by
themselves — using their pointed bills Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jays can extract pine nuts if there are
noticeable gaps in the cones. When it comes to food, these birds can be aggressive towards other
birds. Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jays are also very intelligent like their relative California Scrub-Jays and
Florida Scrub-Jays, hence they also cache food when they discover an excess of it.
They are predominantly omnivorous and their diets vary depending on the season. During the summer they tend to eat a variety of insects and moth caterpillars are the staple food fed to the young. Their winter diet is comprised of seeds, berries, and nuts.
Woodhouse Scrub Jay Habitat
Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jays generally reside in habitats that have low scrubs. Oakwoods, edges of
evergreen forests, mesquite bosques, and pinyon-juniper forests are regions in which these birds
are commonly found. Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jays are also comfortable living around humans, so
some of them can be found in suburbs, parks, and golf courses.
You can find the Woodhouse Scrub-Jay in open habitats, arid woodlands, pinyon-juniper woodlands, and some suburban areas and parks. During the winter they may disperse to the riverside forests.
Range and Migration
Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jays are a species of scrub-jays that can be found in western North America.
The range of these birds extends from southeastern Oregon and southern Idaho to central Mexico.
For many years these birds were considered to be part of the same species as the California Scrub
Jay and they were both collectively called the Western Scrub-Jays. But, now the differences
between these birds have been noted, hence their range is more specific. Woodhouse’s Scrub
Jays are non-migratory and uncommon.
Woodhouse Scrub Jay Lifespan
They have a lifespan of nine years.
Woodhouse Scrub Jay Nesting
Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jays breed in isolated pairs away from their flocks. Either of the sexes can
choose a nest site where these birds remain permanent residents. The nest sites chosen by these
birds are generally 6-14 feet high on the branch of a fairly small tree such as serviceberry or pinyon
pine. Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jays build their nests with twigs and line them with hair, plant fibers, and
rootlets. The nest construction process generally takes up to 12 days. Both males and females
contribute to the nest-building process. Females lay about 1-5 eggs which need to be incubated for
Bird Watching Academy & Camp Subscription Boxes
At Bird Watching Academy & Camp we help kids, youth, and adults get excited and involved in bird watching. We have several monthly subscription boxes that you can subscribe to. Our monthly subscription boxes help kids, youth, and adults learn about birds, bird watching, and bird conservation.
Bird Watching Binoculars for Identifying Woodhouse Scrub Jays
The most common types of bird-watching binoculars for viewing Woodhouse Scrub-Jays are 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. Bird Watching Academy & Camp sells really nice 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. You can view and purchase them here.
Woodhouse Scrub Jay T-shirts
If you love the Woodhouse Scrub Jay you should purchase a Bird Watching Academy & Camp T-shirt. To help support bird conservation we donate 10 percent to bird conservation activities.
Woodhouse Scrub Jay Iron On Patches
Kids, Youth, and Adults love to collect our Bird Watching Academy & Camp iron-on patches. Our bird-watching patches help you keep track of the birds you have seen and identified. You can also display the patches on our Bird Watching Academy & Camp banners.
The Woodhouse Scrub-Jay is a great iron-on patch to start your collection with. The patches are durable and can be sewn on or ironed on to just about anything.
Woodhouse Scrub Jay Stickers
Stickers are a great way for you to display your love for bird watching and the Woodhouse Scrub Jay. We sell a monthly subscription sticker pack. The sticker packs have 12 bird stickers. These sticker packs will help your kids learn new birds every month.
Bird Feeders for Woodhouse Scrub Jay
There are many types of bird feeders. Here are our favorite bird feeders for your backyard. We use all of these bird feeders currently. Kids will have a great time watching birds eat at these bird feeders. Using this collection of bird feeders will provide a wide variety and many types of birds.
Best Bird Houses for Woodhouse Scrub Jay
There are many types of birdhouses. Building a birdhouse is always fun but can be frustrating. These 4 birdhouses have become our favorites. Getting a birdhouse for kids to watch birds grow is always fun. We spent a little extra money on these birdhouses but they have been worth the higher price and look great.