Island Scrub Jay

Credit: Kathy1006

Island Scrub-Jays are large, brightly-colored birds similar to California Scrub-Jays except that their feathers are darker and more richly-colored. They are blue from their head to their tail on the back and gray on top of their wings.  They have white throats.

  • Aphelocoma insularis
  • Length: 11 – 12 in (28 – 33 cm)
  • Weight: 4.1 – 4.4 oz (116 – 125 g)


Island Scrub-Jays are permanent residents of Santa Cruz Island, hence their name, and they do not migrate.

Habitat And Diet

The island is dominated by oak woodland and chaparral with several streamside thickets and other trees. 

The diet of Island Scrub-Jays is mostly insects, small lizards, mice, and even the eggs and young of other smaller birds. In the fall, it feasts on acorns, using its beak to break the shell. 

Island Scrub-Jay Sounds:


Nest of Island Scrub-Jays are hidden in oak trees. It is sturdy and built with twigs and lined with rootlets and animal hair to keep it soft on the inside. They lay around four eggs and they take about eighteen days to hatch. As to when the young leave the nest, there’s not a lot of data to go from. 

Fun Fact:

Since the Island Scrub-Jay never leaves Santa Cruz Island, it has the smallest range of any North American bird.