18-B-2018 California Scrub-jay

STATUS
In 1st Round
HOW MANY OBSERVED?
One
DATE SIGHTING OCCURRED
DATE REPORT PREPARED
REPORTER
Dale Toweill
OTHER OBSERVERS
Deyanne (Dee) Toweill; homeowner (name unknown to me)
LOCALITY OF OBSERVATION
935 E. Spartan Street, Eagle, Idaho (43.6960-116.3423)
HABITAT WHERE THE BIRD WAS OBSERVED
Groomed front yard of subdivision: mowed lawn, ornamental trees, bird feeders.
SIGHTING DURATION, CONDITIONS, and EQUIPMENT USED
10 minutes.
Sunny afternoon with a few clouds in the sky.
Vortex 10x binoculars & Canon T6 camera with 16-300mm lens, at a distance of about 40 feet.
DID YOU CONSULT A FIELD GUIDE OR OTHER REFERENCE WORK?
Yes, during the observation
WHICH GUIDE(S) OR REFERENCE(S): DID YOU CONSULT?
None. I am very familiar with this species.
DESCRIPTION OF THE BIRD(s)
Slightly larger than a robin; blue back, white underparts with a black "necklace"
BEHAVIOR OF THE BIRD(s)
Flew to tree near feeder and perched to survey the feeder and surrounding area. Dropped onto the lawn, then flew directly to the peanut feeder, a small dish atop of pole near the driveway. The bird sequentially picked up three whole peanuts, discarding one after another, before selecting one and dropping onto the yard. It appeared to bury the peanut among pebbles near the base of the feeder, then flew away
HOW AND WHEN DID YOU POSITIVELY IDENTIFY THE BIRD, AND WHAT CLINCHED THE IDENTIFICATION FOR YOU?
Positive ID immediately upon sighting the bird; raised in western Oregon, I am very familiar with the species.
HOW DID YOU ELIMINATE SIMILAR SPECIES? WHAT WERE THEY?
Pale blue bird larger than a Robin- not a Bluebird, no crest and too pale a blue for Stellar's Jay. No black markings like Blue Jay. White underparts, black "necklace" and range excluded Pinyon Jay.
WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THIS (AND SIMILAR) SPECIES?
Raised where the species was common. Trained in ornithology at Oregon State University (Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Management), where knowledge of this and other local resident species was a critical knowledge requirement. Very active birder with 2, 215 species on Life List and 315 species on Idaho Life List; each year I observe and record California Scrub-jays, Woodhouse's Scrub -jays, Pinyon Jays, Steller's Jays, Blue Jays, and Gray Jays in suitable habitats in Idaho.
DESCRIBE YOUR GENERAL BIRDING EXPERIENCE
Active birder since high school. Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Management at Oregon State University, Master of Science in Wildlife Ecology at Texas A&M University, Ph.D. in Wildlife Science at Oregon State University. E mployed as a wildlife biologist/research biologist, program administrator for 35 years; now retired after nearly 30 years working with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. I escort international bird-and-wildlife observation tours annually; my World Life List includes 2,215 species and my Idaho Life List 315 species; I record 500-700 bird species annually.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (If any)
This bird was periodically reported by the homeowner on Facebook since May 5, 2018. Reports indicated the bird would stop by every 3-5 days , checking the feeder for peanuts. On May 14, Jason Talbot reported a California Scrub Jay at Dry Creek Cemetery at 11:15am, about a mile to the east of this location.
WERE PHOTO(S), VIDEO, AND/OR AUDIO OBTAINED FROM THIS SIGHTING?
Photo
SUPPORTING IMAGES