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Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus

Scientific Name:Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus
Common name:Pinyon Jay
Rank and Status   
Global Rank:G3 Native Status:Native
Subnational (State) Rank:S3 Endemic:No
US ESA Status:None Sand Dunes:No
NNHP Tracking Status:At-Risk List Wetland:No
Other Agency Status Status Last Updated Status Comments
Bureau of Land Management - Nevada Sensitive BLM Nevada Sensitive Species List dated 2017-10-01
Nevada Wildlife Action Plan - 2012 Species of Conservation Priority
Nevada Wildlife Action Plan - 2005 Species of Conservation Priority
Nevada Partners in Flight Priority Bird Species
International Union for Conservation of Nature Vulnerable
Audubon Watchlist 2007 Yellow List
CCVI Score Presumed Stable Conf. VH.
Partners in Flight Landbird Conservation Plan 2016 D-Yellow Watch List
Distribution (NV Counties)

Status: Predicted or probable

Carson City Esmeralda Lincoln Pershing
Churchill Eureka Lyon Storey
Clark Humboldt Mineral Washoe
Douglas Lander Nye White Pine
Summary Occurrence Data
Occurrence Count:13
Total Observed Area (hectares):Not Available
Maximum Known Elevation (m):2390
Minimum Known Elevation (m):1594
Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus data at NatureServe
Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus photos and data at Encyclopedia of Life
Character Abstract
Identification Comments:
Subspecies Comments:
Food Habits:Eats pinyon and other pine seeds, berries, small seeds, and grain. Also insects (larvae, nymphs, and adults); beetles, grasshoppers, caterpillars, ants, etc. May eat bird eggs, hatchlings. Communally caches large numbers of seeds.
Phenology Comments:
Reproduction Comments:
Migration Mobility:
Habitat Comments:Pinyon-juniper woodland, less frequently pine; in nonbreeding season, also occurs in scrub oak and sagebrush (AOU 1983). Nests in shrubs or trees (e.g., pine, oak, or juniper), about 1.5-9 m (5-29.5 ft) above ground. Nests when and where adequate numbers of pine seeds are available.
Ecology comments:Lives in loose flocks of multiple breeding pairs and their offspring from previous nesting seasons. The flock has an established home range but may wander to other areas in search of food. During nesting season flocks of yearlings may form. GBBO radio-telemetry study found that foraging Pinyon Jays appeared to favor transitional areas where pinyon-juniper woodland is interspersed with sagebrush. During the daytime, jays were usually found within 800m [2,600 ft] of woodland edge, and always within 2 km [1.2 mi] of the edge. Roosting and nesting, jays went deeper (but usually no more than 3 km [1.8mi]) into the woodland interior to denser tree stands. Jays were nearly always found in areas with diverse woodland canopy closure and age structure; they were not observed in large contiguous areas of mature, dense woodland. Although very large flocks have been reported elsewhere, the telemetry study most often observed smaller subflocks (<30 birds) that periodically joined other subflocks to form flocks of 50-100 birds. Subflock home ranges were <20 km sq [5,000 ac] in all cases. The GBBO (2011) analysis of bird population responses to projected effects of climate change indicates Pinyon Jay populations are projected to experience losses from habitat change in mountain sagebrush/mid-closed, big sagebrush/shrub/annual, and pinyon-juniper, and they are expected to gain birds in Wyoming big sagebrush/late, pinyon-juniper/late, and mountain sagebrush/late-open, for an overall projected population decline of 19%.
Version Date:11/05/1999 - 12:00am

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