[Tweeters] Scrub-jays

mgd at myuw.net mgd at myuw.net
Mon Oct 20 07:59:13 PDT 2008

Hi Rachel and Tweeters,

I have a pair of Western Scrub-Jays and a pair Steller's Jays in my
yard/neighborhood on Beacon Hill. I'm feeding them peanuts and get plenty of
opportunity to watch their behavior. I've noticed that the scrub-jays chase
away the Steller's--the latter usually come in when the scrubs have taken off
with peanuts. I've seen Steller's Jays in oaks (Seward Park, Naches, Ft. Lewis) so they certainly know how to take advantage of an acorn crop. My guess is that throughout their range the scrubs are dominate to the Steller's and keep them in the conifers while the scrubs take the oaks.

I've also seen lots of antagonistic encounters between the scrubs and the
Anna's. The Anna's are always after the scrubs but don't seem to care about the Steller's. I'm wondering if that's because of the long shared evolutionary history between the two species (i.e. a long shared history of scrub-jay predation on Anna's nests). They're both open oak woodland species that have moved north into Washington from California.

Mike Donahue

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