Not only can it carry five acorns at once, but it can collect 3000 a year and remember where most are cached. On our acornless plains it is a relative newcomer and makes do with fruit, seeds, rodents and other birds’eggs and nestlings. In the same family as crows, this intelligent bird has elaborate social rituals and, using its two voice boxes sometimes simultaneously, a huge vocabulary of sounds. The blue color comes from the way the structure of its feathers catches light.
Published Oct. 22, 2008, in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Text by Barb Gorges, photo by Pete Arnold.