Monthly Archives: September 2016

Scrub Jay Loves Peanuts

California Scrub-Jay visits us in Tacoma, WA area – LOVES peanuts!!

Starting about 2 weeks ago (beginning of September 2016), we’ve had California Scrub-Jays visiting our backyard.  We’ve been feeding Stellar Jays peanuts for years, but this is the first time we’ve had any regular Scrub-Jays.  Last autumn, we had a timid one, for a few weeks, but he never took to getting peanuts.

This year, we have a pair, one is smaller, so it may be a parent and a child.  I’m not sure if there’s any size difference between the sexes.  Anyone know?California Scrub Jay Foraging Peanuts

They are gregarious and friendly, and were unafraid of me photographing them out in the open.  I was surprised that they were so outgoing, since they are so new to my backyard, while the stellar jays that we’ve had around for years, are hesitant when I change my behavior at all.

They are also very vocal, constantly chatting when foraging or pretty much all morning long!  A bit annoying, not at all pleasant — makes it hard to ignore them!  They will hang out right outside my window and even fly onto my porch!

California Scrub Jay with Peanuts in Tacoma WA Backyard

We’re actually in Lakewood, WA, and I don’t believe that these birds are really that uncommon in Washington State — I think I saw one near Point Defiance a few years ago — but it’s so lovely to have some new regular backyard birds to our feeders.

In addition to feasting on peanuts, they also enjoy sunflower seeds.  We have this hanging platform feeder, and they do eat off of it.

Scientific Side Note: What also makes this bird interesting, is the recent news that the Western Scrub-Jay is being split into two different species, the California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) and the Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma woodhouseii).  See this article: Taxonomy Update for 2016

Have you seen these near you?  Any experiences to share?