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Steller's Jay In Colorado
Photograph - Photography
A photo taken by Nava Jo Thompson of a Steller Jay eating popcorn in Estes Park Colorado....DietSteller's Jays are omnivores; their diet is about two-thirds plant matter and one third animal matter. Food is gathered from both the ground and from trees. The Steller's Jay's diet consists of a wide range of seeds, nuts, berries and other fruit. Many types of invertebrates, eggs, small rodents, and nestlings are also eaten. There are some accounts of them eating small reptiles, both snakes and lizards. Acorns and conifer seeds are staples during the non-breeding season; these are often cached in the ground or in trees for later consumption. They exploit human-provided food sources, frequently scavenging picnics and camp sites.......seed that is generally consumed by Stellar's Jay, and that may also be used to bird watch from your home includes; black-oil sunflower seeds, white striped sunflower seeds, shelled peanuts and-their favorite-whole peanuts (raw). Suet is also consumed but mostly in the winter season.......... The nest is usually in a conifer but is sometimes built in a hollow in a tree. Similar in construction to the Blue Jay's nest, it tends to be a bit larger (25 cm to 43 cm), using a number of natural materials or scavenged trash, often mixed with mud. Between two and six eggs are laid during breeding season. The eggs are oval in shape with a somewhat glossy surface. The background colour of the egg shell tends to be pale variations of greenish-blue with brown- or olive-coloured speckles. The clutch is usually incubated entirely by the female for 17 to 18 days.........Like other Jays, the Steller's Jay has numerous and variable vocalizations. One common call is a harsh "SHACK-Sheck-sheck-sheck-sheck-sheck" series; another "skreeka! skreeka!" call sounds almost exactly like an old-fashioned pump handle; yet another is a soft, breathy "hoodle hoodle" whistle. Its alarm call is a harsh, nasal "wah." The Steller's Jay also imitates the cry of the Red-tailed Hawk and Red-shouldered Hawk, causing other birds to vacate feeding areas. Some calls are sex-specific: females produce a rattling sound, while males make a high-pitched "gleep gleep."........ NameThis bird is named after the German naturalist Georg Wilhelm Steller, the first to record them in 1741 (Evans 1986).
January 30th, 2013
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