Steller’s Jay

Cyanocitta stelleri

The Steller’s jay can be found frequently in the northwest. It is known for its vibrant colours, distinctive black or blue crest, impressive ability to mimic the sounds of other animals, and remarkable intelligence and is British Columbia’s provincial bird. It shares its impressive cognitive powers with the other members in its family: jays, magpies, and crows. It’s name is one of the most commonly misspelled among bird species. Though often mistakenly spelled Stellar’s jay, this species is actually named after George Steller, a German zoologist who explored coastal areas along the North Pacific shoreline. The genus name, Cyanocitta, translates to blue jay.

Characteristics

Steller’s jays have a distinctive appearance. Though most frequently these jays are black-bellied with bright blue wings, colouration varies among individuals and among populations. For example, Steller’s Jays often have brightly coloured blue, white, or black markings on their face resembling vertical eyebrows such that different populations can be distinguished by the color of these markings…

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