|A Steller's jay -- Photo from Yosemite National Park|
What do you think this Steller's jay is doing? According to the scientists at Yosemite National Park, it's probably allowing ants to eat the ectoparasites (like lice) off its feathers. I've seen mourning doves displaying this behavior. Have you witnessed this in other birds? Please comment below.
You can find Steller’s jays in evergreen forests of western North America at elevations of 3,000-10,000 feet (lower along the Pacific coast). They frequent campgrounds, picnic areas and parks because they associate people with food. Like other members of the corvid family, they are gregarious, bold, inquisitive, intelligent and noisy.
Steller’s Jays are large songbirds with large heads, chunky bodies, rounded wings, and a long, full tail. The bill is long, straight, and powerful, with a slight hook. Their prominent triangular crest often stands nearly straight up from their head.
Don't confuse the Steller's jay with the Western scrub jay that lives in the coastal areas of Southern California and throughout the West.