Passerine Birds (Passeriformes) - RStade

Western Scrub-Jay – Interior or "Woodhouse's" subspecies

Aphelocoma californica

January – Colorado

L=11.5”....... WS=15” ....... WT= 3 oz Order: Passeriformes (Passerine Birds) Family: Covidae (Crows and Jays)

The Western Scrub-Jay has three well differentiated subspecies that reside along the Pacific Ocean of California and Oregon, the non-coastal area of California and east to Texas but remaining south of Montana, and southern Mexico. There is very little overlap in their ranges. The two North American subspecies are called the coastal or "California" and the interior or "Woodhouse's". The physical and behavioral characteristics of these two North American birds are distinct. The coastal subspecies is thicker billed, darker and richer in color overall. They are bold, conspicuous and adapt well to human neighborhoods. Thus they are easily spotted. The interior subspecies is drabber, secretive, and more frequently heard than seen. Given the lack of range overlap and the associated lack of inter-breeding, differences in physical appearance and differences in behavior separating these subspecies ornithologists continue to study the evolutionary history of these birds and may create three species where one now exists.

Jay Western Scrub