Aphelocoma Woodhouseii – Woodhouse’s scrub-Jay

Aphelocoma Woodhouseii - Woodho found in western part of the US

The Woodhouse’s scrub jay, Aphelocoma woodhouseii is a scrub jay species found in western North America. Until recently, Woodhouse’s scrub-jay and California scrub jay were assumed to be the same species and were together referred to as the western scrub jay. Previously, both were regarded to be the same species as the island scrub-jay and Florida scrub-jay; the taxon was thus simply named the scrub jay. The Woodhouse’s scrub-jay is a nonmigratory species that may grow tame and visit bird feeders.

Quick Overview: Aphelocoma Woodhouseii – Woodhouse’s scrub-Jay
Body size: Around 11.5 in (29 cm) and a weight of 71-99 g (2.5-3.5 oz)
Main colors: Blue, Gray, Black
Range: Western part of the United States
Migratory Bird: No
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: All Year (January – December)
Conservation Status: Least Concern

Woodhouse’s scrub-Jay Description

Jay with a medium crest, dull blue head, wings, and tail, gray mask and back, and pale gray underparts. The bill, legs, and feet are all black. Consumes grains, fruits, insects, frogs, lizards, and other bird eggs and young.

Aphelocoma Woodhouseii - Woodho found in western part of the US
Aphelocoma Woodhouseii – Woodho. Photo by: Alan Schmierer


These birds have a length of 11.5 in (29 cm) and a weight of 71-99 g (2.5-3.5 oz). Their wings could range from 15 in (38 cm).


Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jays are opportunistic and omnivorous. Spring and summer diets are dominated by arthropods and fruit, whereas autumn and winter diets are dominated by masting tree seeds.


California Scrub-Jays are found along the Pacific Coast, from extreme southern British Columbia, Canada, to Baja California, Mexico, in the scrub, oak forests, and residential yards. Look for them alongside oaks: in oak scrub, oak forests, and the Central Valley’s oak savannah.


Woodhouse’s scrub jays have a reputation for mischief and are not beyond blatant stealing. They have been observed taking acorns from the caches of acorn woodpeckers and seeds and pine cones from Clark’s nutcrackers.

Aphelocoma Woodhouseii Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Corvidae
  • Genus: Aphelocoma
  • Species: Aphelocoma woodhouseii
  • Best time of the year to see

Best time of the year to see

In the United States, the best time of year to see these birds is all year round, regardless of the season. This refers to any month of the year between January and December.

Distribution of the Woodhouse’s scrub-Jay in the USA

This species is found in Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Utah, and Texas, as well as southern Idaho, and central New Mexico.

Aphelocoma Woodhouseii – Woodhouse’s scrub-Jay

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