Bird #303 — Steller’s Jay

cyanocitta (from kyanos, blue, and kitta, chattering bird) stelleri (for Georg Wilhelm Steller, German zoologist and member of Vitus Bering’s Arctic expedition in 1741, who shot the first one known to science along the Alaskan coast)

Thursday, April 5, 1984 — 9:55 am

Coronado National Forest, Arizona — Mt. Lemmon

We stopped at an overlook about two-thirds of the way up the mountain.  We admired the scenery and fed bread crumbs to Cliff Chipmunks.  I spotted the Steller’s Jays in a tall pine down the slope a ways.  They were hopping branch to branch, calling loudly.  They moved up close to our overlook and perched in some small trees just below us, occasionally dropping down to the ground to grab and eat some of the bread crumbs.

They somehow managed to be funny-looking and beautiful at the same time.

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