Green Jay Cyanocorax yncas
Sound (186 KB)
- Blue head and nape
- Black throat extending up to black patch around eye
- Green back and wings
- Pale yellow-green underparts
- Sturdy, dark bill
- Black and blue markings around eye
- Long, blue-green tail with yellow outer tail feathers
- United States range restricted to southern Texas
Found in Mexico south to Colombia and Bolivia in forests, woodland edges, thickets. Reaches northern edge of range in southern Texas. Usually seen in brushy areas and dense woods in the lower Rio Grande Valley. Will often come to investigate human intrusions into its area. For such a colorful bird, it can often be difficult to see in the tangles.
NESTING & FEEDING:
BREEDING: Brush, pine-oak woodland, riparian thickets. 1 brood. Mating system is monogamous but may also be cooperative.
DISPLAYS: Mated pair perch close together, female bobs several times, male responds with sleeked posture, followed by bill caressing.
NEST: In small tree or shrub in dense thicket; bulky platform of thorny twigs supports cup lined with fine rootlets, vine, moss, grass, and leaves. Both sexes help with nest construction.
EGGS: Grayish-white marked with brown, gray, and lavender. 1.1" (27 mm).
CHICK DEVELOPMENT: Female incubates. Incubation takes 17-18 days. Development is altricial (immobile, downless, eyes closed, fed). Young leave the nest after 19-22 days. Both sexes tend young.
DIET: Insects, small invertebrates and vertebrates, bird eggs, nestlings; seeds, fruit.
CONSERVATION: Winter resident. Rare victim of Bronzed Cowbird.
NOTES: Family flocks of 4-9 remain on permanent territories. Only one pair breed in each flock. Young incorporated into flock and remain with parents for 1 year; do not help at the nest (except in Central America populations), only in territorial defense. After young fledge, the yearlings from previous season are evicted from territory by the breeding male. Female does not flush easily from nest; fed by male during incubation. Both parents brood. Hoard food and steal from Acorn Woodpecker caches; likely serve as major disperser for oak trees by burying acorns, then failing to recover them.
GREEN JAY. Edge, second growth, pine-oak, scrub. Se Texas; Mexico up to 1800 m in s Nayarit, w Jalisco, Colima and s Michoacán; s Guerrero and sc Oaxaca; Tamaulipas, e Nuevo León, Veracruz, e San Luis Potosí, ne Hidalgo, Puebla, n,e,se Oaxaca and s on Pacific slope in s Chiapas to sc Guatemala, and on the Gulf-Caribbean slope in Tabasco, n Chiapas, Yucatán Peninsula, Belize, n Guatemala and ne Honduras. The widely allopatric populations of Texas to Honduras (luxuosus) and South America (yncas) are often treated as subspecies. Ridgely and Tudor (pers. comm.) note that they differ in habitat, vocalizations and breeding strategies.