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Aphelocoma californica.

Aphelocoma californica.
Photo Information
Copyright: Luis Leal (Luis52) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-01-13
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D80, Sigma EX 50-500mm f/4-6.3 APO HSM DG
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/1000 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Blue Birds [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-01-16 10:28
Viewed: 4333
Points: 30
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Western Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma californica) (also known as the California Jay) is a species of scrub jay native to western North America, ranging from southern Washington to central Texas and central Mexico. In recent years, it has expanded its range into the Puget Sound region of Washington. The Santa Cruz or Island Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma insularis), found only on Santa Cruz Island, is closely related. The Western, Santa Cruz and Florida Scrub Jays were once considered sub-species of a single species termed the "Scrub Jay". The Western Scrub Jay is nonmigratory and can be found in urban areas, where it can become tame and will come to bird feeders.

This species is 27-31 cm (11.5 in) long (including its tail), and weighs about 80g. Coastal Pacific birds tend to be brighter in coloration than those of the interior, but all are patterned in blue, white and gray, though none as uniform in color as the related Mexican Jay. Western Scrub Jays feed on small animals, eggs and young of other birds, insects, and (particularly in winter) nuts and berries. True to their name, Western Scrub Jays inhabit areas of low scrub, preferring pinyon-juniper forests, oak woods and sometimes mesquite bosques. They are known for hoarding and burying brightly colored objects.

Nests are built low in trees or bushes, 1m to 10m above the ground, primarily by the female while the male guards her efforts. The nests are sturdy, with an outside diameter of 33cm to 58cm, constructed on a platform of twigs with moss and dry grasses lined with fine roots and hair. Four to six eggs are laid from March through July with some regional variations. There are two common shell color variations: pale green background with irregular, olive-colored spots or markings, and pale grayish-white to green background with reddish-brown spots. The female incubates the eggs for about 16 days. The young leave the nest about 18 days after hatching.

The Western Scrub Jay is one of the species whose populations are being adversely affected by the West Nile Virus, particularly in California's Central Valley.

It is possible that the Western Scrub Jay is actually two distinct species. Birds from the interior ("Woodhouse's Scrub Jay", woodhouseii group) differ in plumage (paler blue above, and with a weakly defined breast band) and behavior from the coastal birds ("California Scrub Jay", californica group; darker blue above, and with a strongly defined blue breast band).

The Western Scrub Jay is known by many other names: California Jay, Nicasio Jay, Texas Jay, Woodhouse's Jay, Xantus Jay and Long-tailed Jay.

Saludos Luis52.

uleko, Argus, marmottelolo, fiyo, goldfinchtr, Tamrock, jeanpaul, Adanac, coasties, Juyona has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-01-16 10:34]

Hello Luis,
Excellent capture of this beautiful bird, new to me! Great sharpness and lovely colours of the plumage. I like the very sharp profile of the head and the blue feathers competing with the colour of the sky! Very nice composition.
TFS and regards, Ulla

  • Great 
  • shal Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 256 W: 64 N: 481] (2140)
  • [2007-01-16 10:44]

HI Luis,
lovely details, composition and details :)
Great post :D
Cheers :D

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-01-16 10:52]

Hola Luis,
I haven't seen this species of Jay on TN before.
This is a fine post with natural colours, sharp and well-composed.
TFS and best wishes, Ivan

bonjour luis
bon POV et surtout l'exposition est bien maitrisée par ce grand soleil.
beaucoup de details et un oiseau naturellement tres beau.

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2007-01-16 12:30]

Hello Luis.
Fantastic shot,very nice capture with a superb composition
Superb detail, and excellent bright colours. Very sharp and clear.
Thanks for posting

Very nice photo of this species, seems to be a rare one;)


hi luis!
A new bird fore me and so
nice to see,very beautiful
little messy bg but very
nice with good sharpness
and a good composition

Hello Luis,

Excllent work, Great colors Bg POV DOF Perfect details very crisp, nicely composed and capture [photo excllent work

TFS Kyle

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2007-01-16 20:37]

Hello Luis,
Another excellent posting, great colors, detail and composition. Thanks for your beautiful work.

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2007-01-16 21:19]

Superbe oiseau et bonne composition.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-01-16 23:06]

Hello Luis

A wonderful shot of this western scrub jay.The colours are really bold and well saturated.The composition is very nice with good POV and DOF.Very good detail in the plumage.TFS


Hello Luis,
Wow, this is a completely different kind of Jay than the ones I'm used to see but it is blue like them. I wonder if this one is black in reality like the Blue Jay we have here... If you don't understand what I'm talking about, you can see my notes about the picture called "The "black" bird. I would not think so though because the shape of its feather seems very different from the one I'm talking about :)

This is a very sharp, well composed and lightened capture. I like this POV and composition. The bird stands out very well from this blue BG even if it’s blue itself. This is a very good post with interesting note. Thanks,

Bonsoir Luis
Elle est magnifique cette photo , les couleurs sont superbes et le BG excellent ainsi que les beaux détails
très bon travail et la présentation est très jolie
Bravo et merci...JP

Hi Luis

Congrats on an excellent shot. Well composed, good clear detail, tack sharp and nicely saturated colour. :-)

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-08-10 13:45]

Hola Luis,
miraba tu galería,
donde encuentro aves originales,
bellisimas mariposas,
muchos saludos, y recuerdo para tu familia

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