Breeds in coniferous and mixed forests, open woodlands. In B.C., breeds in western hemlock, Douglas-fir, amabilis fir, grand fir, western red cedar, and Sitka spruce (Cannings et al. 1987, Stewart and Shepard 1994, R. W. Campbell pers. comm. in Greene et al. 1998). In Alaska, predominantly inhabits coniferous forests with little difference in densities between early seral stages and old-growth forests (Dellasala et al. 1996). Also found in human disturbed habitats, such as residential areas, campgrounds, gardens, and garbage dumps (Campbell et al. 1997). During winter, high-elevation populations typically move to lower elevations (Bent 1946, Stewart and Shepard 1994, R. W. Campbell pers. comm. in Greene et al. 1998).
Bent, A.C. 1946. Life histories of North American jays, crows, and titmice. U.S. Natl. Mus. Bull. 191. Washington, DC.
Campbell, R. W., N. K. Dawe, I. McTaggart-Cowan, J. M. Cooper, G. W. Kaiser, M. C. E. McNall, and G. E. J. Smith. 1997. The Birds of British Columbia. Volume 3. Passerines: flycatchers through vireos. University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver. 693 pages.
Cannings, R. A., R. J. Cannings, and S. G. Cannings. 1987. Birds of the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia. Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria. 420pp.
DellaSala, D.A., J.C. Hagar, K.A. Engel, W.C. McComb. R.L. Fairbanks, E.G. Campbell. 1996. Effects of silviculture modifications of temperate rainforest on breeding and wintering bird communities, Prince of Wales Island, Southeast Alaska. Condor: 98: 706-721.
Greene, E., W. Davison, and V. R. Muehter. 1998. Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri). In The Birds of North America, Vol. 7, No. 343 (A. Poole and F. Gill, Eds.). Philadelphia: The Academy of Natural Sciences; Washington, D.C.: The American Ornithologists’ Union.
Stewart, A. C. and M. G. Shepard. 1994. Steller’s Jay invasion of Southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. N. Am. Bird Bander 19:90-95.