Greater Victoria, Gulf Islands, Cowichan Valley, Nanaimo and Centrial Island, Port Alberni, Tofino, North Island
I have twice seen an all black bird with a crest in Colwood. It looks like many of the pictures I have seen of the male phainopepla, but the descriptions of the range for that bird are much further south.
Does anyone have any suggestions as to what it might be?
Thanks for the reply Judy. I checked the coloring the second time I saw it and it really seemed black all over. The shape is about right though. Certainly a Steller seems far more likely. I am keeping an eye out to see if I can see it again.

I like your pictures
When you see the bird again try to observe the eye colour. If it's black then it probably is a Steller's Jay; if it's red then you do indeed have a Phainopepla in which case the birding community is going to go crazy! It is possible - there has been a Summer Tanager hanging around a bird feeder in Vancouver all winter and it too is normally found much further south.
Thanks for the kind words about my pictures.
The neck and upper breast and back of a steller's jay are very black. Perhaps you didn't get a close look at the rest of its body or it was in shade. Take a look at photos of the steller's jay. Use the Google image search to see photos of the jay.

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