They sound an alarm by shrieking loudly to announce your entry into
their area of influence. Jays make a huge ruckus when something
noteworthy is happening. One time we heard loud shrieking outside. We
went to investigate and lots of scrub jays were all riled up in an oak
tree. It turned out there was a gopher snake high in the oak tree
eating nestlings. Another time a rattler was moving between bushes.
The western scrub jay is an omnivorous bird eating most anything.
Its most notorious food item consists of other bird eggs and baby
birds. They also eat acorns, seeds, fruits and nuts. They like to store
acorns in the soil, not a very long term storage site. Many of these
acorns are forgotten and later germinate. They can be heard in the
nursery pecking away furiously at an acorn. They like to perch on a log
with it, using the log as a sort of cutting board, and then hammer away.
The western scrub jay is found in most of California except the
southern desert, the lower central valley, and the higher elevations of
the Sierra Nevada mountains.
How to attract the Western scrub-jay to your garden.
The Western Scrub Jay enjoys oaks and scrub land but they also like
town life. A pretty sure bet for attracting the western scrub Jay to
your garden is oaks, Quercus lobata,
Q. douglasii, etc. Their
favorite foods are acorns and they also enjoy eating the insects
attracted by an oak tree. For more information on oaks see our oak page. For all the
scrub jay's bad manners, they are actually very good at distributing
and planting acorns. Which is good for a forest, oak woodland, or even
The Western Scrub-Jay likes brushy areas with nearby trees,
The Western Scrub jay
is also very fond of Toyon berries. The Toyon,
arbutifolia, is a lovely evergreen shrub with bright red
berries. It is also called holly berry, for this reason. Many other
birds also like it
The Western Scrub Jay will also
come to the bird bath.
(Although they tend to scare the other birds away.)
The Western Scrub Jay doesn't migrate. However, they do move up
The Western Scrub Jay nests in the dense foliage of a large bush or
small tree, usually situated near water.