scrub jay eggs
fledgling and parental care
The scrub jay is a member of the corvid family native to pine-juniper woodland and shrub habitats in the western United States. They are easily recognizable by their beautiful pale blue plumage, which fades to gray on their flanks and underbelly.
The nesting season for bush jays usually begins in March or early April, depending on how far north the birds live. These jays primarily nest in pine-juniper forests and scrub oak habitats.
However, nests may occur in various other trees and shrubs, as long as the location provides sufficient concealment from predators and the elements.
Midsummer marks the end of jay nesting season. Still, you’ll see them foraging in their territories, and may even bring their young to forage nearby. Pairs are socially monogamous and stay together most of the year. In addition, the chicks continue to spend two months with their parents after eclosion.
We will continue to discuss the nesting habits of scrub jays throughout this article. Read on to discover more!
Nest-building Scrub Jay gather materials to build their nests
Where do scrub birds nest?
Scrub jays nest in dry, open western woodland and scrub habitats. They are primarily associated with pine, juniper, and shrub oak forests, but also occur in riparian woodlands, gardens, orchards, and tropical deciduous forests in southern Mexico.
Nests are built at forks or ends of branches or trunks where vegetation obscures the location.
Do bush jays nest in the same place every year?
There are few reports on whether scrub jays typically return to the same nest each year. Pairs, however, are socially monogamous and have been known to return to the same breeding colony.
These jays may re-use previous nesting sites, especially if the nesting is successful.
Are bush jays nesting in the backyard?
Scrub jays may nest in your backyard if you have small, dense shrubs or trees. These birds are also attracted to bird feeders, especially where peanuts and sunflower seeds are available.
Scrub jays nest in dry, open western woodland and scrub habitats
Do Scrub Jays use nest boxes?
Scrub jays like to nest in trees or bushes. However, they may use nest boxes if optimal nesting habitat is scarce. The ideal box size for this bird is approximately 8 x 8 x 12 inches with a 1 ½ inch entry hole. The nest box should be placed in a place where the vegetation is hidden.
What trees do bush jays nest in?
The most common scrub jay nest trees are juniper, pine, and scrub oak. However, depending on location, these birds may also utilize a variety of shrubs, including Wright silk ear, acacia, hickory mahogany, or sagebrush. Occasionally, nests can even be found in whole cacti.
How tall is Scrub Jay’s nest?
The nests of scrub jays are usually very low to the ground. On average, the nest height is between 1.2 and 2.6 meters.
A pair of scrub jays courting for food
What does Scrub Jay’s nest look like?
Scrub jays build open, cup-shaped nests. The exterior is composed of interlaced branches forming a basket shape. The interior contains finer materials, including weed stems and twigs. Finally, the nest is lined with fine roots and horsehair.
How big is Scrub Jay’s lair?
Shrub jay nests have an average outer diameter of 10 cm and an inner diameter of 9.5 cm. Nest cups are usually about 10 cm high and 6 cm deep.
Bush Jay’s Empty Nest
What time of year do Scrub Jays nest?
Bush jay nesting season typically occurs from spring to midsummer (March to July). Pairs start breeding between March and April. Nest building then begins very quickly, usually from mid-April.
How long do Scrub Jays nest?
Between nesting and chicks, scrub jays nest for about four to five months. After the nest is built and the eggs are laid, the incubation period begins. The eggs hatch after about 17 to 19 days and the nesting period begins.
The chicks remain in the nest almost as long as they hatch. Once they fly out of the house, they stay with their parents for a few more months.
What month do bush jays lay eggs?
Female scrub jays usually lay their eggs between April and May. If the first hatch is unsuccessful, a pair of scrub jays may lay a second round of eggs later in the summer.
Where do scrub jays nest in winter?
Scrub jays are considered non-migratory, but do tend to wander outside of their breeding range during the winter. They didn’t go far, however, and continued to seek shelter among a variety of trees and shrubs—especially pines and junipers, which are evergreens.
Bush jay nesting season typically occurs from spring to midsummer (March to July)
How do scrub jays build their nests?
Scrub jays build their nests by making a basket out of twigs and other plant material. After the basket is formed, the nest is lined with softer materials such as roots and animal hair. Nesting generally takes about 10 days.
What do Scrub Jays use to build their nests?
Scrub jays use branches and stems to build the exterior of their nests. Tiny roots, grass and animal hair line the inside, making the nest softer.
Do male or female scrub jays build their nests?
Both male and female scrub jays participate in nest building. One partner collects material while the other stands guard, watching for intruders.
Bush jays gather nesting material
scrub jay eggs
What do Scrub Jay eggs look like?
Shrub jay eggs are usually ovoid, with an average length of about 27.8 mm and a width of about 20.4 mm. Egg color ranges from light blue-green, blue-gray, sage green, or pea green. They are marked with small spots or brown spots.
How many eggs do bush jays lay?
Three to six eggs are usually used for nesting scrub jay pairs. Eggs are usually laid in April or May and hatch within 17-18 days.
Do male scrub birds sit on eggs?
Male scrub jays do not sit on eggs. Only the female is responsible for hatching.
Close up of Frosted Jay Cracking Peanuts
fledgling and parental care
When do small bush jays leave their nests?
Young scrub jays usually leave the nest 17 to 18 days after hatching. However, a parent’s responsibilities don’t end once the child is grown. Juvenile scrub jays stay with their parents for another two months after leaving the nest.
How many litters do Scrub Jays have?
Scrub jays typically produce one litter per season. A second hatch is possible only if the first one is unsuccessful. Otherwise, bush jay pairs rarely have enough time in the summer to raise another brood.
Junior Scrub Jay (CA)
Are scrub birds abandoning their nests?
Scrub jays rarely abandon the nest unless the eggs are unsuccessful or the young are in trouble.
Do Scrub Jays build nests on the ground?
Scrub jays do not nest on the ground. However, nests are built in the lower parts of trees and shrubs – usually 1.2 to 2.6 mm high.
Where do scrub jays nest at night?
At night, scrub jays nest in densely vegetated trees and shrubs. They have a particular preference for pine, juniper, and scrub oak.
How to Attract Nesting Scrub Jays?
The best way to attract nesting scrub jays is to provide them with ideal nesting habitat. They prefer open pine-juniper woodlands or scrub oak habitats.
These birds need a nesting site that is well hidden by vegetation. Nearby food sources are also important. Scrub jays are attracted to peanuts and sunflower seeds on feeders.
ask a question
Do you have a question on this topic that we haven’t answered yet? Submit below and one of our experts will reply as soon as possible.
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.
Leave a Reply