[Tweeters] Western Scrub Jay on Capitol Hill, Seattle

Kevin Purcell kevinpurcell at pobox.com
Tue Nov 17 14:17:26 PST 2009

On Nov 17, 2009, at 12:59 PM, Brien Meilleur wrote:

> For info, I would guess that you probably saw one of the birds from

> a small resident group of Western Scrub Jays that has been in the

> area, and reproducing, between E. Union and E. Cherry and between

> 10th Ave. and 15th Ave., just East of the main Seattle U. campus,

> for at least five years now (perhaps most often seen in the alley

> behind 13th Ave. E.).

> Brien Meilleur

Thanks Brian. That would probably account for the others I've reported
before on Cap Hill.

I looked at the CBC data. There is a sharp gradient in occurrence of
Western Scrub Jay in the Western Puget Sound. The first CBC record was
in a single bird in 1995 for both Seattle and Tacoma. I don't see any
reported north of Seattle. They're 10x more common in Tacoma than in
Seattle and the surrounding suburbs and a bit more common in the Kent
CBC and more so in Olympia. And if you go to south or south-west WA
(say Cowlitz Co CBC) they're 10x more common than Tacoma. Then about
another 4x more common in Salem and Eugene as you head south into
northern CA.


Based on last years CBC data they're a rather uncommon bird in Seattle
in late fall/early winter: 0.015 per party hour or once every 66 hours
of birding (for the sort of birders who do the CBC) or about 10x less
common than a Cooper's Hawk in the same CBC.


And that's why I posted. Perhaps not an exciting bird but a rather
uncommon one. Even if I now know that I'm close to their territory.

Thanks for most of the comments.
Kevin Purcell
kevinpurcell at pobox.com
twitter: @kevinpurcell

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