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New Film – Scrub Jay Vs. Bee – With Slo-Mo

This guy is Aphelocoma californica. The common name is the California Scrub-Jay. They are in the family Corvidae. There are some 40 species of the Corvus genus – including ravens, crows, and rooks. Along the Pacific seaboard from Washington state to Baja California this is the “blue jay” that is a fixture in  backyards. Their behavior is similar to other Corvids. They are much like small and colorful crows. You will often find them high in the trees being lookouts when not foraging on the ground.

This film has been edited to include a repeat in very slow motion. After that I put in a section in reverse at a slightly faster slow motion. (The reverse segment is just for fun.) Then the film ends with a repeat of the full speed footage making a roughly two minute film. In the slow motion section I believe that you can see the bird separate the stinger from the insect before eating it. These birds have a reputation for being intelligent so perhaps it is doing that deliberately; and, from experience. I found the slow motion film segment to be revealing because the bird’s activity is so frenetic that it is hard to see what’s happening. As subjects they are difficult to photograph and film because they move around constantly and quickly. This is my first film from my scrub jay footage. I didn’t use any spectacular equipment and this is a hand-held film. For me this was a rare catch and worth sharing. I hope you enjoy seeing it.

©2019 – Howard Faxon


What do you think?

32 Points


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  1. Amazing!! What a great video, and yes, seems the bird separates de stinger. I had heard about corvids intelligence before, so I agree with you. Another thing is, here in Spain we don’t have such colourful birds, it’s so nice!

    • Thanks so much. 🙂
      There probably will be more wildlife things – I have YouTube to park things and the embed feature here is great for viewing without leaving the site. (I’m slowly working through deer footage right now.) Cheers!

    • Thanks so much Carol. I was hoping it would be interesting. These birds are on the west coast mostly. Here I have Stellar’s Jays now. I should post a picture of them. I have maybe two so far. They’re tough to catch well.

    • I wonder if it is instinct. That’s entirely possible. This is the only time I saw this happen and I had my camera – it was a lucky moment.
      In the summer these birds ate a lot of insects in my yard which I didn’t mind but the bees I’m not so happy about. Cheers.


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