Pinyon jays are found in the scrub lands throughout the arid southwest. Not as flashy as some of the other jays, they have a distinct slate-blue coloring and white streaks along the throat. They forage for a variety of nuts, especially pinyon, and other seeds, storing large caches for later use. They are highly intelligent, with impressive spatial memories, allowing them to retrieve stored food over a year later and under new objects. As like other jays, pinyon jays are gregarious and noisy. They are highly social and can live in groups of hundreds of birds with a complex social organization. Mated pairs of Pinyon Jays appear to coordinate their caching so that cache locations are known to each other, especially the male. Although the species is widespread, it has been in decline since the 1960's. The main threat seems to be loss of pinyon/juniper habitats.

Pinyon Jay

Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus

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Carmen Alana Tibbets' Agosia Arts //Summer 2018