We travelled east from Vancouver and made a rest stop somewhere along the Skagit River.
On a restroom sign sat a beautiful turquoise blue bird. We looked at each other and the bird showed no signs of fear or shyness. He posed, put his head to the side and sometimes he ruffled up his black head feathers. He flew a couple of times very close above our heads and we were so taken by this funny little bird. We had no idea what kind it was. Now I know that it can be found here and there in the western parts of Canada and the United States. He was named after George W Steller who “discovered” it first.
Like its fellow species the Steller´s Jay produces lots of different sounds, rattling sounds and guttural calls. When worried it calls a hoarse and nasal “Wah”. It is also a good imitator. When he imitates the Red tailed hawk other bird get scared and flies away. The Steller´s Jay can imitate car horns too. They might spook some motorist who thought he was alone on the road. Another sound of this bird is described as “skrieka, skrieka” wich happens to be the Swedish word for this kind of bird.
On our way back to Vancouver we stopped at the same rest stop near the Skagit River. And there he was again, the wonderful little turquoise bird.