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Beautiful Jay - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Michael W
Yanacocha Reserve, North-western Ecuador, March 2007
Cyanolyca pulchra



  • Black forehead, lores and side of head
  • Light sky-blue crown and nape, whitish along boarder of black ear-coverts
  • Dull violaceous blue upper mantle
  • Sepia rest of upperparts
  • Lighter cyan-blue upperwing and tail
  • Black chin
  • Cyan-blue throat
  • Darker, almost sepia upper breast, becoming cyan-blue on belly
  • Brown eye
  • Black bill and legs

Sexes similar but females have some brownish tones in upperparts. Juveniles are drabber and browner.

Similar species

Rather similar to Turquoise Jay but note darker belly (not forming a collar like in Turquoise Jay) and lighter crown in this species.


Western Andes of south-western Colombia and north-western Ecuador (south to Pichincha).
Uncommon in its small range.


Forms a sister-species with Azure-hooded Jay.


Temperate cloudforest. Occurs from 900m to 2300m, mostly between 1400m - 1800m.


An inconspicious bird, foraging mainly in understory, singly or in pairs.
Not much information about diet.
At the one nest studied, two nestlings took 24 days between hatching and fledging. No helpers were involved during this period. The cup-shaped nest was situated 8 meters from a visitor center and 25 meters from a road in a forested garden, so the species seems adaptable to interactions with non-hunting humans.
A sedentary species.


  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
  3. Laufenberg & Woodward 2010. Parental care and nestling development of the Beautiful Jay (Cyanolyca pulchra) in Northwestern Ecuador. Ornitologia neotropical 21:611-614.

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.