Attractive jay of oak woodlands and piñon-juniper forests. Royal blue above with gray-brown back and dirty grayish underparts. Flight style is often distinctive, a series of quick wingbeats followed by a stiff glide. Typically in small groups. Listen for scratchy, nasal calls. Regularly visits backyards and feeders. Most similar to California Scrub-Jay (and once considered the same species), but usually separable by range. Also note Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay is paler and more washed-out, with only a diffuse blue breast band. Population in central Mexico, often called Sumichrast’s Scrub-Jay, is darker and more contrasty than a typical Woodhouse’s, and might be a separate species.
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