The only all-dark jay with a crest, the Steller’s Jay is often found in the shady forests of western mountains and the coast, and is a common sight at bird feeders. Close in size to the American Robin, Steller’s Jays are characterized by their dark, brilliant blue feathers. Steller’s Jays typically stick to the uppermost part of the forest canopy and will often fly across a clearing one at a time, calling with their ‘shook-shook’ song. Except when nesting, Steller’s Jays live in flocks, so if you spot one, be on the lookout for more!
In the wild, Steller’s Jays feed heavily on pine seeds, acorns, and other nuts and seeds as well as bugs. At your feeders, Shelled Peanuts are a great option, as well as BerryWise® seed – a sweet and crunchy treat consisting of Hulled Sunflower, Black Oil Sunflower, Peanuts, Papaya, Raisins and Juniper Berries. Insect Treasure suet is a great choice as well, full of protein and delectable insect morsels which jays love.
Steller’s Jays will regularly visit backyard feeders. Wild Bird Center’s Platform feeders (in various sizes) are a great choice for this bigger bird as they may have trouble perching at a traditional tube feeder. Our Peanut Feeder, which allows Jays to cling while eating, is another great option. For suet or seed cakes, Wild Bird Center’s Suet Cake and In-Shell Peanut feeder allows for either/or depending on your preference.
Steller’s Jays are monogamous birds believed to mate for life. Their nests are made up of a bunch of tiny sticks stuck together with mud. The inside is usually lined with pine needles, soft grasses or even animal fur. Both the male and female bird choose the nest site which is typically 6 to 30 feet high in evergreen trees. Steller’s Jays' eggs are light blue or green with light brown spots.
Did You Know?
Steller’s Jays are amazing mimics and can imitate birds, squirrels, chickens, dogs and even cats!