Weather and Effort: December 3, 2008
When did you watch your feeders? Day 1:   morning   afternoon
Day 2:   morning  afternoon
Estimated cumulative time: 1 to 4 hours
Daylight temperature: 1 to 10° C (33 to 50° F) low
11 to 20° C (51 to 68° F) high
Daylight precipitation: None – –
Total depth of ice/snow cover: None


Checklist for FeederWatch California Region Birds

Mourning Dove 4
Anna’s Hummingbird 1
Steller’s Jay 4
Western Scrub-Jay 3
Chestnut-backed Chickadee 3
Oak Titmouse 1
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
California Towhee 2
Fox Sparrow 1
White-crowned Sparrow 9
Golden-crowned Sparrow 5
Dark-eyed Junco 6
House Finch 10    (0 with eye disease)
American Goldfinch 1    (0 with eye disease)



Steller’s Jay

Steller’s Jays visit my backyard just about everyday. They compete with the Western Scrub Jays and the squirrels for the peanuts I throw out.

A striking crested bird of bright blue and black, the Steller’s Jay is a familiar sight around campgrounds in the mountains of the West.


  • Large songbird.
  • Crest on head dark blue or black.
  • Head, chest, and back brownish-black.
  • Wings, tail, and body deep blue.
  • Size: 30-34 cm (12-13 in)
  • Weight: 100-140 g (3.53-4.94 ounces)

Sex Differences

Sexes look alike


Large variety of loud and harsh calls. Common call a harsh “shaar,” and a rapid rattling “shek, shek, shek, shek.”

Cool Facts 

  • The Steller’s Jay and the Blue Jay are the only New World jays that use mud in the construction of their nests.  
  • The Steller’s Jay shows a great deal of variation in appearance throughout its range, with some populations featuring black crests and backs, and others blue. One black-crested form in southern Mexico is surrounded by eight other blue-crested forms.  
  • The Steller’s Jay periodically irrupts away from its normal range. Most of these far-ranging individuals appear to be young birds.  
  • Steller’s and Blue jays are the only North American jays with crests. The Blue Jay is expanding its range westward. Where they meet, the two species occasionally interbreed and produce hybrids.

Visit Project FeederWatch for more information and to find out how you can become a citizen scientist and count the birds you your own backyard!