Pinyon Jay Study

Project Description

With the help of volunteers, two ECAS members, Kevin Smith and Ken Hashagen, began banding Pinyon Jays (Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus) in Crooked River and Sisters in 2012. These locations are among the most regular sites visited by Pinyon Jays. Because one can see a flock of 350 at a site and find none the following day, banding Pinyon Jays is subject to short-term planning. Kevin and Ken have banded nearly 300 Pinyon Jays using site-specific color bands.

Why We Do This and What We Have Learned

Pinyon Jays are frequently on the move. The hope of this project is to better predict the nature of that movement.

After a two-year hiatus due to Covid, the coordinators hope to increase the number of banding sites and volunteers in the near future.

What Volunteers Do

The most critical contribution volunteers make is to scout for and report flocks of Pinyon Jays. Volunteers can report if they are feeding on cones, as trees packed with ripe cones tend to keep a flock in one place longer. Birders can check Pinyon Jays for leg bands and report sightings back to a project coordinator.

Volunteers can also be trained to help in the banding itself.

Project Focus Areas

  • Population Monitoring
  • Community Engagement
  • Bird Conservation
  • Endangered/Threatened Species
  • Ecological Study
  • Behavioral Study
  • Activism/Advocacy

Would You Like to Volunteer?

Banding resumes in 2022, depending on the next Covid variant. To volunteer for this project, email your contact information to ECAS at Please put “Pinyon Jay Project” in the subject line.