Steller’s Jay

Why does this species have the dubious honor of being one of the most frequently misspelled names in all of bird watching?

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Although its color is certainly “stellar”… that is not the correct spelling. Steller’s Jays were discovered on an Alaskan island in 1741 by Georg Steller, a naturalist on a Russian explorer’s ship. When a scientist officially described the species, in 1788, it was decided to name the bird after its discoverer– along with his other discoveries that include: Steller’s sea lion and Steller’s Sea- Eagle. Steller’s and Blue jays are the only North American jays with crests, and the only that use mud to build their nests.

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There are many collective nouns for this bird: “band”, “cast”, “party”, and a “scold” of jays.