Steller's Jay

Ron Hannah

Big Bear Lake, United States

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Artist's Description

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From All About Birds

Steller’s Jays are large songbirds with large heads, chunky bodies, rounded wings, and a long, full tail. The bill is long, straight, and powerful, with a slight hook. Steller’s Jays have a prominent triangular crest that often stands nearly straight up from their head.

At a distance, Steller’s Jays are very dark jays, lacking the white underparts of most other species. The head is charcoal black and the body is all blue (lightest, almost sparkling, on the wings). White markings above the eye are fairly inconspicuous.

Like other jays, Steller’s Jays are bold, inquisitive, intelligent, and noisy. Steller’s Jays spend much of their time exploring the forest canopy, flying with patient wingbeats. They come to the forest floor to investigate visitors and look for food, moving with decisive hops of their long legs.

Look for Steller’s Jays in evergreen forests of western North America, at elevations of 3,000-10,000 feet (lower along the Pacific coast). They’re familiar birds of campgrounds, picnic areas, parks, and backyards.

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Photographers note:
These birds are such clowns! They are immensely entertaining! I have a couple more on the way. I spend much time just watching and photographing these wonderful birds while on Mt. Baldy in Southern California. Who needs artificial entertainment from a squawking box, when these squawking birds can keep one captivated for hours?

Nikon D60
200mm
cropped a bit
minimal processing

Artwork Comments

  • Noble Upchurch
  • Ron Hannah
  • Larry Trupp
  • Ron Hannah
  • Ray Clarke
  • Rocksygal52
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