Pinyon Jay

Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus
Pinyon Jay thumbnail
Length: 10 in. (27 cm )
A specialist on Pinyon Pine seeds, the Pinyon Jay rarely wanders far from this habitat during the breeding season. It is almost always found in flocks, sometimes up to a hundred or more individuals. It also nests colonially, and the bulky platform nest is made of twigs and bark and lined with bark and hair. Young are fed insects, bird eggs and nestlings of other bird species. All summer long thousands of Pinyon Pine seeds are cached through out the forest and serve as a primary food source throughout the winter. In years of poor seed production, large flocks of Pinyon Jays wander widely to lower altitudes.

The four-digit banding code is PIJA.

Female | Jim Burns

Oak-pine woodland


Bird Sound Type: Buzzing
Sex of Bird: Male
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Bibliographic details:

  • Article: Pinyon Jay
  • Author(s): Dr. Biology
  • Publisher: Arizona State University School of Life Sciences Ask A Biologist
  • Site name: ASU - Ask A Biologist
  • Date published: July 13, 2017
  • Date accessed: September 20, 2023
  • Link:

APA Style

Dr. Biology. (2017, July 13). Pinyon Jay. ASU - Ask A Biologist. Retrieved September 20, 2023 from

American Psychological Association. For more info, see

Chicago Manual of Style

Dr. Biology. "Pinyon Jay". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 13 July, 2017.

MLA 2017 Style

Dr. Biology. "Pinyon Jay". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 13 Jul 2017. ASU - Ask A Biologist, Web. 20 Sep 2023.

Modern Language Association, 7th Ed. For more info, see
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