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Green Jay

From Opus

Subspecies C. y. galeatusPhoto © by Robert ScanlonLa Suiza Nature Reserve near Pereira, Colombia, May 2004
Subspecies C. y. galeatus
Photo © by Robert Scanlon
La Suiza Nature Reserve near Pereira, Colombia, May 2004
Cyanocorax yncas

Includes Inca Jay


[edit] Identification

25 - 27cm (9¾-10½ in) A distinctive jay with pronounced racial variation:

  • Green tail with yellow outer feathers and yellow under-tail coverts.
  • Cheeks, throat and upper breast are black.
  • Forcrown and moustache-streaks are blue. Hindcrown bluish or white
  • Whitish forehead and eyebrow streak.
  • Eyes yellow or dark brown.
  • Bill and legs black.
Subspecies C. y. luxuosusPhoto © by assayerLaguna Atascosa NWR, Texas, November 2004
Subspecies C. y. luxuosus
Photo © by assayer
Laguna Atascosa NWR, Texas, November 2004

Juveniles duller black areas, blues more greenish, and under parts paler.

[edit] Distribution

North, Central and South America: found in southern Texas (USA), Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia.

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

There are 12 subspecies[1], in two major groups which are now widely treated as separate species[2]:

  • Cyanocorax (yncas) luxuosus – Green Jay. Mexico, southernmost USA, Central America. Underparts light green; head with blue crown, not tufted, and dark iris.
Subspecies  C. y. yncasPhoto © by Stanley JonesAbra Patricia, Amazonas Department, Peru, November 2013
Subspecies C. y. yncas
Photo © by Stanley Jones
Abra Patricia, Amazonas Department, Peru, November 2013
    • C. y. speciosus: Pacific slope of western Mexico (Nayarit and Jalisco)
    • C. y. vividus: Pacific slope of southern Mexico (Colima) to western Guatemala
    • C. y. luxuosus: Southern Texas (Rio Grande Valley) to eastern Mexico (Puebla and Veracruz)
    • C. y. centralis: South-eastern Mexico (Tabasco) to Belize, eastern Guatemala and Honduras
    • C. y. maya: South-eastern Mexico (Yucatán Peninsula) and extreme southern Quintana Roo
    • C. y. cozumelae: Cozumel Island
  • Cyanocorax yncas (sensu stricto) – Inca Jay. Northern South America. Underparts bright yellow; head with white crown, raised tuft above bill, and yellow iris.
    • C. y. galeatus: Subtropical central Colombia (west of Eastern Andes)
    • C. y. cyanodorsalis: Eastern Andes of Colombia and north-western Venezuela
    • C. y. andicolus: Mountains of northern Venezuela
    • C. y. guatimalensis: Coastal cordillera of northern Venezuela
    • C. y. yncas: Subtropical south-western Colombia to Ecuador, Peru and central Bolivia
    • C. y. longirostris: Northern Peru (arid upper Marañón Valley)

[edit] Habitat

Sub-tropical thorn scrub and riparian woodland. Observed at heights around 2,000 m.

[edit] Behaviour

Seen in parties outside breeding season.

[edit] Diet

Acorns, seeds Texas Palmetto (ebony in winter), grasshoppers, crickets and other insects.

[edit] Breeding

Nest (north range April and May) in dense thickets. A thorny twig platform, rootlet, vine, moss and grass lining - eggs can be seen through nest. Two broods per season.
Eggs three to five greyish-white, greenish-white or buff background. Covered in brown, grey and lavender spots - concentrated around larger end.

[edit] Vocalisation

Call high pitched and harsh - commonly one long then three short.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2015. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2015, with updates to August 2015. Downloaded from
  2. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2014. IOC World Bird Names (version 4.3). Available at
  3. BF Member observations

[edit] External Links


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