Bird Sounds: Western Scrub-Jay

Western Scrub-Jay Calls

April 28, 2016
Western Scrub-Jay
U.S. National Park Service

Here you can identify the sounds and bird song of the Western Scrub Jay.  Compliments of The Macaulay Library at The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 

Click here to listen to the sounds of other birds!

Have you heard a Western Scrub-Jay? Add your comments below. Be sure to let us know where you live or where you’ve heard this bird sound before!

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Western Scrub Jays

When I lived on the west side of the Salt Lake valley in Utah, lots of scrub jays were always around. I would leave them unsalted peanuts in the shell, they would gather them up and stash them in lots of interesting places. They would perch nearby while I was working in the yard and sing along with me sometimes. One day they all came screeching to my door, letting me know that one of them was wounded by some idiot's dart. I couldn't save him, but my heart still sings thinking of the bond we shared.

Western scrub jay

While I have heard the call before, I had never seen the bird until this morning. It was sitting on our wooden fence twice! This is in a suburban area of Salt Lake, but we have a park across the street and many trees around.

Western Scrub Jay

I live in the city of Santa Cruz CA on the central coast(Not Santa Cruz Island). There is a Western Scrub Jay that has taken quite an interest in my cats. He/she lurks outside a door or window squawking at the cat, sometimes even coming inside the garage through the kitty door or open sliding door.He doesn't attack the cat, nor the cat attack it, but often perches about 3 feet from where the cat is. The cat comes running in trying to get away from it. The bird follows. I live in the garage studio. There is another renter who lives in the main house. He has a cat that he doesn't allow to go outside. But the bird comes to the window and squawks at that cat too. He's has been seeking out the cats for at least 2 or 3 weeks now that I know about. I saw something about Florida Scrub Jays being able to be finger tamed. Is this also possible with Western Scrub Jays? I bought some unsalted peanuts and put a few outside the door on the railing. The bird hasn't come by yet, but will typically be backin the early evening when the sun is getting low in the sky. I also hear him squawking outside the door very early in the morning before it starts to get light. I have been having fun playing the bird calls off of the computer and he comes to the door and listens. It's so cute.

western scrub jay

The Editors's picture

What an unusual situation! I don’t know why the jay is interested in your cat, but you might try talking to a wildlife expert at a local nature center, or someone from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. As to training a wild bird to take food from your hand, the following page has some suggestions.

You might also be interested in this page, from someone who had earned the trust of a western scrub jay so that it took food from her hand:

We have a bird that is

We have a bird that is nocturnal that sits in the tee outside our back window at night and does it's thing. I haven't been able to identify it yet but it's annoying. Kind of like a high pitched wood pecking sound. Help! Albuquerque, NM

Could it be the "Downy

The Editors's picture

Could it be the "Downy Woodpecker" that you hear? They're a common bird that has a high-pitched sound. Here's a page that tells you more about this bird:

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