January 6, 2006


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


Emmett said...

What side of town do you live on? I live in SE Olympia off of Boulevard, and I've seen scrub jays regularly the last few summer. Not as often as stellars, but not uncommon.

My understanding is that they might stay to the edges of town.

Mike Kretzler said...

I live on the West Side, just off Cooper Point. I haven't seen a scrub-jay there in eight years. Before that, I lived on Foote St, just up the hill from downtown. There, I saw scrub-jays year-round. What prompted the post was seeing (hearing, first) a scrub-jay along Evergreen Pk Dr, on the courthouse hill. Both of those sighting locations are near the river and are mostly stripped of the native conifers. Don't know if those are factors or not.