Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Mexican Jay vs. Western Scrub-Jay
"The way you tell them apart," said my brother, "is that Mexican Jays are found in higher elevation, oak forests and are seen in noisy flocks. Scrub-Jays are usually alone or in pairs and are more often silent."
The Mexican Jay is found from the southern southwest United States to central Mexico. This jay is highly social, flocking in groups of five to 25 individuals. These flocks have a complex organization. Several females may breed simultaneously and monogramously. The young, however, are fed by most flock members. Flocks tend to be sedentary and non-miratory. Individuals within the flock may live past 20 years, either in its birth territory or in an adjacent one (McCormack and Brown 2008). My brother knew just where to look.
Compared to Mexican Jays, Western Scrub-Jays are found over a wider range across the western United States and central Mexico. They also enjoy a wider habitat range, including suburban cities. Scrub-Jays tend to frequent lower and drier areas than Mexican Jays. Western Scrub-Jays are less social than Mexican Jays or Florida Scrub-Jays (Curry et al. 2002).
Posted by Dan Tallman at 9:30 AM