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Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Corvidae


Aphelocoma sp.—Scrub JaysPleistocene regional distribution of Aphelocoma sp.

Presumably either A. californica or A. wollweberi is represented as fossils in our region. Since the current geographic range of the latter is limited to eastern Arizona and western New Mexico, whereas A. californica occurs throughout the region, A. californica is deemed most likely to be represented at Pendejo Cave.


Early/Early-Mid Wisconsin: Lost Valley (UTEP: ?).

Late Wisconsin/Holocene: Pendejo Cave (Harris 2003).

Literature. Harris 2003.


Aphelocoma californica (Vigors 1839)—Western Scrub JayPleistocene regional distribution of Aphelocoma californica

Synonyms. Aphelocoma coerulescens.

Aphelocoma coerulescens currently is recognized as being restricted to Florida; populations in our region earlier assigned to that species now are recognized as A. californica. The relationships within the latter species are not clear, and the eastern populations of our region may be a separate species from those to the west.

Western Scrub Jay. National Park Service photograph by Will Elder

Fig. 1. Western Scrub Jay. This is a photograph of a West Coast individual by Will Elder, National Park Service.

Western Scrub Jays currently occur throughout the region in woodland in summer and also into lower elevations during the winter (Ligon 1961).


Late Pleistocene: Rancho del Oro (Jefferson 2014).

Wisconsin: Carpinteria (Guthrie 2009).

Early/Early-Mid Wisconsin: Room Vanishing Floor (Harris 1993c).

Mid Wisconsin: Pendejo Cave (Harris 2003).

Mid/Late Wisconsin: Rancho La Brea (Stock and Harris 1992).

Late Wisconsin: Maricopa (Jefferson 1991a).

Late Wisconsin/Holocene: Stanton's Cave (Rea and Hargrave 1984: cf. gen. et sp.).

Literature. Guthrie 2009; Harris 1993c, 2003; Jefferson 1991a; Ligon 1961; Rea and Hargrave 1984; Stock and Harris 1992.


Aphelocoma wollweberi (Kaup 1854)—Mexican JayPleistocene regional distribution of Aphelocoma ultramarina

Synonyms. Aphelocoma ultramarina

In 2011, the species Aphelocoma ultramarina was recognized as actually being two species. The northern species became Aphelocoma wollweberi and occurs in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico.

Papago Springs Cave is the only site in our region for this bird; it is common in the area today in the oak woodlands of southeastern Arizona (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999).


Mid Wisconsin: Papago Springs Cave (Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999)

Literature. Czaplewski and Mead et al. 1999


Last Update: 27 May 2015