Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Steller's Jay

Steller's Jay
Oakland, California, USA
Member of the Crows and Jays Family
~true bird fact~ Steller's Jays are fairly social and inquisitive for birds. They live in flocks of 10 or so and have been known to have strange, seemingly pointless behaviors. Sometimes they migrate outside of migration season, sometimes young birds are found far outside of their established ranges. They probably just are having fun, is what I think.

Loves the open road, staying in dive motels, eating diner food, etc.
Wears a leather (or snakeskin) jacket as a symbol of his individuality
Doesn't mind getting his hands dirty
A softy for kids, makes a good mentor even though moms are afraid of him

Naturalist Profile: Georg Steller

Steller's Jay is named after Georg Wilhelm Steller, a German-born, Russia-based naturalist and explorer of the early 18th century. He first described this Jay on one of his many exploratory trips through the vast frozen northwests of this continent. Considered a pioneer of the Alaskan territory, Steller also has a Sea Eagle, a Sea Cow, an Eider (sea duck), and a Sea Lion named after him. He was also the first explorer to describe the Sea Otter.

Steller died of an unknown illness while being persecuted by the Russian government for his sympathy towards the native peoples of Kamchatka. He left behind a book called On the Beasts of the Sea. Your Ornithologist daydreams wistfully about such a career, but is glad to not be dying in Russia. There are no known images of Georg Steller, but he did draw this manatee.

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