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Desert Wildlife >
Pinyon JayGymnorhinus cyanocephalus
Pinyon jay rests in Joshua tree
Family: Corvidae Order: Passeriformes Class: Aves
DISTRIBUTION, ABUNDANCE, AND SEASONALITY
A fairly common but somewhat local, yearlong resident in coniferous habitats east of the
Cascade-Sierra Nevada crest from the Oregon border south to vicinity of Walker Pass, Kern
Co. Also found in most major desert mountain ranges, including the arid slopes of ranges
west of the deserts, from the White Mts. south to the San Jacinto Mts. and west to the Piute
Mts. (Kern Co.) and to Mt. Piņos. Preferred nesting habitats are
may be absent) and eastside pine. Breeders often range into sagebrush, bitterbrush and
grassland habitats to forage. Occasionally wanders to cismontane California, even to coast, in flocks in fall and
Niche: Potential predators include mammals, owls, hawks, loggerhead shrikes. Many unrecovered pine seed caches germinate.
Comments: Highly gregarious at all seasons. Flocks of up to 400 have been observed in the Providence Mts.
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