Black-and-blue with a crest. Widespread in western North America, from Alaska to Nicaragua. Shows marked variation across range: coastal populations are the darkest, with no pale markings around the eye. Central American birds have shorter crest, limited black on the face, and very bold white markings around the eye. Occurs in coniferous forests, usually in small groups. Regularly visits feeders, campgrounds, and picnic areas. Loud and conspicuous; listen for harsh calls.
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