Overview

Brief Summary

a very interesting bird

as it name would say it prefers scrub forests and forests. it is found from california to the pacific northewest. it eats acorns,bugs,carrion.it often fights for food with the crows and ravens.this species is very clever..

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Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: RESIDENT: southwestern Washington to southwestern Wyoming, Colorado, and central Texas south through the southwestern U.S. to southern Baja California and Oaxaca, Puebla, and west-central Veracruz, Mexico.

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Physical Description

Size

Length: 29 cm

Weight: 91 grams

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Diagnostic Description

Gray-breasted (Mexican) jay is grayer, lacks strong contrast between throat and breast, lacks white eyebrow. Pinyon jay is more uniformly blue and has a blue throat with white streaks; scrub-jay's tail is much longer than that of the pinyon jay.

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Comments: Scrub (especially oak, pinyon and juniper), brush, chaparral and pine-oak associations; also riparian woodland, gardens, orchards, mangroves (southern Baja California), and tropical deciduous forest (southern Mexico) (Subtropical and Temperate zones, upper Tropical Zone in southern Mexico) (AOU 1983, 1995). Nests usually in low trees or shrubs, 0.5-3.5 m above ground (Terres 1980).

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Migration

Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

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Trophic Strategy

Comments: Feeds on nuts (acorns, pinyon nuts), grains (corn, oats), fruit, insects (wasps, bees, caterpillars cutworms, grasshoppers, etc.), mollusks, eggs and young of small birds, mice, shrews, frogs, lizards, etc. (Bent 1946).

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Associations

Known prey organisms

Aphelocoma californica preys on:
Auriparus flaviceps

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
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General Ecology

Travels alone or in small family groups. In Oaxaca, Mexico, occurred in temporally stable groups of 2-6 adults; territories averaged 1.5 ha (Burt and Peterson 1993). In coastal California, territories averaged "about 3 ha" (Verbeek 1973), and in New Mexico, a single territory measured 2.1 ha (Hardy 1961).

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Predation impacted by noise

Francis et al. (2009) studied bird communities in woodlands near gas wells in New Mexica, USA. Though noise decreases nesting success and species richness in general, there was an indirect benefit. Where noise was high, western scrub jays were less able to prey on nests of other birds. This is likely because vocalizations of the prey species were less noticeable over the noise of compressors. The effect was particularly beneficial to species such as house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) and black-chinned hummingbirds (Archilochus alexandri)

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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 15.8 years (wild)
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Reproduction

In Oaxaca, Mexico, nested at least from early April to late July (Burt and Peterson 1993). Clutch size is 2-7 (usually 4-6; 3 in Oaxaca, with reduction to 2 fledglings typical). Incubation lasts about 16 days, by female. Young are tended by parents and (in Oaxaca) young of previous brood. Young leave nest at about 18 days. First breeds as early as 1 year in some areas. Long-term pair bond. High adult survivorship. Breeds only in pairs in most of range (except southern end of range in Mexico). In Oaxaca, helpers aided in predator defense, territorial defense, and feeding fledglings; singular breeding was the norm (Burt and Peterson 1993).

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Aphelocoma californica

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 13 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

ACCGCCCTA---AGCCTTCTCATCCGAGCAGAACTAGGTCAACCCGGGTCCTTACTAGGAGAT---GACCAGATCTACAATGTAATCGTTACAGCTCATGCTTTCGTCATAATCTTCTTCATAGTGATACCAATCATAATCGGAGGATTCGGAAACTGACTGGTCCCTCTCATG---ATTGGTGCCCCAGACATAGCATTCCCACGAATAAACAACATAAGCTTCTGACTTCTCCCTCCCTCATTCCTTCTCCTCCTGGCCTCTTCAACAGTAGAAGCAGGAGTAGGAACAGGATGAACTGTATATCCTCCACTTGCTGGAAACCTAGCCCACGCCGGAGCCTCAGTCGACCTA---GCTATTTTCTCCCTACATCTGGCCGGTATCTCCTCTATTCTAGGAGCAATCAACTTTATTACTACAGCAATTAACATAAAACCCCCAGCTCTATCCCAATACCAAACTCCCCTGTTCGTATGATCCGTACTAATCACCGCAGTACTGCTCCTTCTTTCTCTCCCCGTTCTTGCTGCT---GGAATCACTATGCTTCTAACAGACCGTAACCTCAACACCACCTTTTTCGACCCAGCAGGAGGAGGTGACCCAGTCCTATACCAACACCTA------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------TTC
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Aphelocoma californica

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 18
Specimens with Barcodes: 23
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
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National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Population

Population Trend
Stable
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Formerly considered conspecific with A. COERULESCENS and A. INSULARIS (see AOU 1995). The three groups of this species may represent distinct species: A. CALIFORNICA (California Scrub-Jay), A. WOODHOUSEI (Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay), and A. SUMICHRASTI (Sumichrast's Scrub-Jay) (AOU 1998).

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