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Mugshot For Aphelocoma californica

Officially these guys are Aphelocoma californica. Their common name is the California Scrub-Jay. They are in the family Corvidae.

Along the Pacific seaboard from Washington state to Baja California this is the “blue jay” that is a fixture in our  backyards. They are assertive, inquisitive, and harsh vocalizers. They are omnivorous and eat a large variety of insects in the summer and acorns, nuts, and seeds in the winter.  They will also eat rodents and the eggs or young of other birds as well as small amphibians. By their behavior you can tell they are definitely Corvids, much like small and colorful crows. You will often find them high in the trees being lookouts when not foraging on the ground.


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  1. Extremely intelligent, these marauders will exploit any food source, working in teams to remove parents from nests or distract while an operative raids a bird feeder. Notice all other birds, (except pileated woodpeckers), defer to these bullies at a feeder. I’ve witnessed the Pileated administer lobotomies to these avian antagonists, to be the same, nevermore.

    • Usually you find them being still high up in trees and pretty far away. They are relentless movers on the ground and it can be quite exasperating trying to photo them. This guy was only 4 of 5 feet away from me. The goal was to chase me away I think. They swooped me a few times this year and the wind blew my hair. Anyway this year I got closer shots than ever before. I see them a lot though so over the years from 100 some photos I do have a few really good ones. Thanks, man.

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