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Birds of the Pacific Northwest: The Steller's Jay

A vibrant blue Steller's jay perches on a branch

The Steller's Jay

Order: Passeriformes
Family: Corvidae
Genus: Cyanocitta
Species: C. stelleri

A Steller's Jay strikes a post on a post

The cooler West Coast cousin of the blue jay, this bold crested bird is often spotted on our voyages along the Columbia & Snake Rivers. With their stunning blue feathers these birds are certainly stellar (with an a), but that’s not the way you spell their name. They are named for Georg Steller (with an e), the naturalist who discovered them on an Alaskan island in 1741. More than 60 years later, Meriwether Lewis described the jays in his journal after recognizing them from drawings made from Steller’s specimens. Scroll below for more fun facts about these sociable squawkers.

 


SPOT THE STELLER'S JAY THIS FALL ON OUR 8-DAY ITINERARY >