Date: 10/11/17 8:22 am From: L Markoff <canyoneagle...> Subject: [obol] Re: western Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay
Bob’s description of Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay’s appearance and behavior matches my experience with the Scrub-Jays that were on my place in Edwards County, Texas. I had several families living on my place and unlike the bold Scrub-Jays here that come to me looking for peanuts, those Jays were wary and eyed me from a distance. I usually heard them rather than saw them.
Eugene (South Hills)
From: <obol-bounce...> [mailto:<obol-bounce...>] On Behalf Of Robert O'Brien
Sent: Tuesday, October 10, 2017 7:40 PM
Subject: [obol] western Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay
But not in Oregon.
My California brother had visited Caruther's Canyon in the Death Valley National Preserve
about 20 years ago and had noticed the Jays were 'different'. Different calls, shyer.
So, last January we decided to check them out. Subsequently they were split.
(I wish they would split them at the hyphen as well; and delete the 's while they are at it).
So we combined a trip for desert wildflowers with a scrub-jay-foray in April. This dry, beautiful, rocky
canyon is characterized by several oaks and the interesting & unique Single-leaf Pinyon Pine.
Here's what we found. They do indeed sound differently and are much shyer than their western cousins.
We saw no evidence they hung out around the campers and their potential handouts or scraps;
and they were not easy to photograph. We saw several pairs flying across the flat Pygmy Joshua Tree desert
on our way to the canyon and their 'azure' blue coloration appeared quite different than the coastal jays.
(Actually, I have no idea what azure means in this context but the color was striking, perhaps 'softer' in bright sunlight.)
Still they are absolutely not lacking in personality.