As I walked around the loop today for my regular constitutional, I heard an unmistakable Scrub-Jay call. I spotted him in the hedge next to the Conservation District office. I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen or heard one in this part of the west side in the over fifteen years I’ve worked here.
When I lived near the bay on Foote St., they were regular in the neighborhood, which they shared with Steller’s Jays. I think Scrubs the most attractive of the jays in this part of the world, but I do have an especially soft spot for the Gray Jay. I was disappointed to learn, when I moved only 1.5 miles northwest in town, that Scrub-Jays apparently don’t live in my new neighborhood. I haven’t heard or seen one in eight years there.
Most of the maps that I see of distribution, including in my beautiful, new Sibley, don’t show south Puget Sound in the range of Scrub-Jays. One other guide I read years ago suggested that they’ve been moving north from the Columbia River. My near-west-side neighbors were evidence of that, as was today’s sighting 1.5 miles to the south.
Update (10/3/09): I've seen a couple of scrubjays over the last couple of weeks, in downtown Olympia, near the capital campus, as shown on this updated map.
Update (2/4/10): A few weeks ago I saw a pair of scrubjays on the east side, near Madison Elementary.
View Scrubjay Sightings in a larger map