Shrikes, Jays and Crows of Columbia County, Oregon

Jays and Crows, known as “Corvids”, are among the most intelligent bird species. Some have adapted well to urban areas while others prefer the deep forest. Shrikes are from another family and are predators, killing small animals with their hooked bills.

California Scrub-Jay scrub jay oregon columbia county
California Scrub-Jay – Our common “blue” jay with no crest and a gray shoulder/upper back. Prefers scrub/brush habitat and does well in residential areas. (photo © Christopher)
steller's jay oregon columbia county
Steller’s Jay – A brilliant blue jay with a blackish-blue crest. Prefers coniferous forest, nesting near the trunk about 10-15 feet off the ground. (photo © toichen)
gray jay canada jay oregon columbia county
Canada Jay – Our “Gray Jay” with a dark cap. Found in mountainous coniferous forest, which means in our county it is restricted to the highest elevations. (photo © firedragonz134)
northern shrike columbia county northwest oregon
Northern Shrike – Black eyestripe distinguishes it from Canada Jay, as does the hooked bill. Found in open landscapes, where it famously impales prey to be eaten later. (photo © nmrvelj)
american crow oregon columbia county
American Crow – A large, all black bird with a squared-off tail. Can be found in virtually any habitat, including cities and towns. (photo © kathawk)
Common Raven oregon columbia county
Common Raven – Larger than the crow with a heavier bill and a tail that tapers rather than squared off. Less often seen in residential areas. (photo © badger720)

Species seen extremely rarely in Columbia County include Blue Jay, Black-billed Magpie, and Loggerhead Shrike.

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