The bird is dark blue in colour, black-crested with variable white or blue markings on the head. The wings and tail are a vivid blue, with fine black barring. The head, including the crest; back; and throat are blackish. Juveniles are washed with brownish or grayish to the upperparts and are duller below. Steller 's jay birds measure 29cm(11,5in) long. The crest, shorter tail, and lack of white in the body separate Steller to s jays from the scrub-jays. The blue jay, has white in the wings, tail, and face, as well as pale underparts.

Habitat and Distribution

Common breeding is in a variety of coniferous forests. The Steller 's jay is generally resident in western North America(from Alaska in the north to northern Nicaragua) but they migrate occasionally in winter and fall, to lower elevations of the Great Basin, the Great Plains, southern California, and southwestern deserts.


Steller's Jays are omnivores; their diet is about two-thirds plant matter and one third animal matter.They take seeds, nuts, berries, fruit, invertebrates, eggs, and nestlings. Acorns and conifer seeds are staples during the non breeding season. They visit feeders for sunflower seeds and frequently scavenge picnics and campsites.


The nest is usually placed in a conifer or built in a hollow in a tree. It is larger than the similar Blue Jay's nest and is made of scavenged trash often mixed with mud. Two to six eggs are laid. The eggs are oval in shape with a glossy surface. The background colour of the egg shell is pale variations of greenish-blue with brown- or olive-coloured speckles. The female incubates for about 16 days.

Calls and Songs

Their call is a piercing sheck sheck sheck and a descending harsh shhhhhkk, which sounds like an old-fashioned pump handle. Its alarm call is a harsh, nasal wah.