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Unicolored Jay

From Opus

Photo by Tom JennerBiotopo del Quetzal, Guatemala, October 2004
Aphelocoma unicolor


[edit] Identification

27 - 32cm.

  • Uniformly dark blue plumage
  • Black area around eye
  • Grey streaked chin
  • Brownish-black undersurface of wing and tail
  • Black, rather heavy hook-tipped bill
  • Black legs
  • Brown eye

Sexes similar, females are smaler than males. Juveniles are faintly bluish-grey and have a yellow lower mandible.

[edit] Distribution

Patchily distributed in northwestern Central America, southern and southeastern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and eastern Honduras.
Relatively common in Guerrero (Mexico) but in danger of extirpation in other parts of its small distribution.

[edit] Taxonomy

Five subspecies accepted:

  • A. u. concolor in eastern Mexico (Hidalgo, Veracruz, Mexico, Puebla)
  • A. u. guerrerensis in southwest Mexico (Guerrero)
  • A. u. oaxacae in southern Mexico (Oaxaca)
  • A. u. unicolor in southern Mexico (Chiapas) and Guatemala
  • A. u. griscomi in El Salvador and eastern Honduras

[edit] Habitat

Cloud forests, pine oak forests, and scrub. Occurs between 1370m and 3050m.

[edit] Behaviour

Usually seen in small flocks of 5 to 8 birds, foraging in trees among lichens.
Feeds omnivorous on berries, fruits, moths, insects, lizards, nesting birds and human discards like corn.
Breeding starts in late January. A sociable breeder with helpers. The nest is a bowl made of twigs. It's placed 5 - 14m above the ground in a tree. Lays 3 - 4 eggs.
A resident species.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553507

[edit] External Links


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