BIRD OF THE WEEK — PINYON JAY — PLANET EARTH BIRD WORLD group

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BIRD OF THE WEEK

PINYON JAY

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus
POPULATION: 690,000
TREND: Decreasing
HABITAT: Pinyon-juniper, pine, and pine-oak forests.

The gregarious Pinyon Jay, known by the folk name Blue Crow, is so closely tied to the life cycle of coniferous trees that it’s even named for its favorites, the pinyon pines.

This crestless jay of southwestern pine and juniper forests is the only representative of its genus, Gymnorhinus, which means “bare nostrils.” Unlike many of its close relatives such as the Blue Jay and Common Raven, the Pinyon Jay lacks feathers at the base of its bill to cover its nostrils.

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