Steller's Jay

1/200s at f5.6, ISO:800, Canon EOS-1D Mark IV w/800mm

The Steller's Jay is a jay native to western North America. The Steller's Jay primarily lives in coniferous forests but can be found in many forested areas. They can be found in low to moderate elevations as high as the tree line, but rarely go that high. Steller's Jays are common in residential and agricultural areas with nearby forests. The range is primarily west of the Rocky Mountains, reaching as far south as Central America and as far north as Alaska. As they 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 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 color of the eggshell tends to be pale variations of greenish-blue with brown- or olive-colored speckles. The clutch is usually incubated entirely by the female for 17 to 18 days.
Rocky Mountain N.P. C0