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California scrub-jay        Images © Mark A. Chappell

Scrub jays (Aphelecoma californica) are familiar in many rural and suburban areas of the western US, and especially in oak, pine, and chaparral areas in California.   They often become very tame and their rasping 'shreck-shreck-shreck' call is a characteristic West Coast sound.   There is also a Florida scrub jay (A. coerulescens) and the larger Island scrub jay (A. insularis, on California's Santa Cruz Island).   Recently, the inland race was made a separate species, Woodhouse's jay, and the coastal forms became the California scrub jay.   I took these pictures in the San Bernardino Mountains, Two Trees Canyon in Riverside, Pebble Beach, Point Lobos, Joshua Tree National Park, all in California.

  • Canon 10D, 1D Mk. II, 1D4, 7D2, or R5; 500 mm f4 IS lens or 800 mm IS lens plus 1.4X or 2X converter, fill-in flash (2004, 2005, 2007, 2010-2012, 2016, 2019, 2022)