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Brown Jay - BirdForum Opus

Alternative names: Plain-tipped Brown Jay; Plain-tailed Brown Jay; White-tipped Brown Jay

Photo by Stanley Jones
Vara Blanca, Alajuela Province, Costa Rica
Psilorhinus morio

Cyanocorax morio


38–44 cm (3-5¼ in)

  • Dark brown upperparts
  • Pale brown underparts
  • Dark brown head
  • Thick black bill
  • White-tipped tail
  • Black legs and feet

Juvenile: yellow bill

Adult with Juvenile (right)
Photo by Michael W
El Rio RV Park, Chapeño, S Texas, USA, April 2004

Geographical variation

There are two main groups.
Northern birds: dark brown, with paler underparts.
Southern birds: white-bellies; white tipped outer tailfeathers.


From southernmost Texas and eastern Mexico, mostly along the Caribbean coast through Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, to western Panama.


Has also been placed in genus Cyanocorax.


Photo by rdavis
Rancho Naturalista near Turrialba, Costa Rica, December 2015

Four subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • P. m. palliatus:
  • Gulf-Caribbean slope of south-east Texas to south-eastern Mexico (Veracruz)
  • P. m. morio:
  • South-eastern Mexico (coastal central Veracruz to eastern Tabasco and northern Chiapas)
  • P. m. cyanogenys:
  • South-eastern Mexico (extreme eastern Tabasco and Campeche) to north-western Panama
  • P. m. vociferus:
  • Northern Yucatán Peninsula (Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo)


Thickets and woodland near water. Visits garden feeders.



The varied diet consists of insects, invertebrates, lizards, fruit, balsa flowers and nectar from bananas.


Both sexes build the nest. The clutch consists of 3-6 eggs which is incubated by the female for 18-20 days.


A loud but low pitched pee-ah call.

The Brown Jay has a furcular pouch of the intraclavicular air sac that is most likely used to produced a sound like a hiccup, a structure not found in any other species of Jay.


  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 http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

External Links