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Lidth's Jay - BirdForum Opus

Photographed by: DaninJapan
Amami Nature Reserve, Amami Oshima, Japan, April 2003

Alternative names: Purple Jay; Amami Jay; Ryukyu Jay

Garrulus lidthi


38cm. A rather large jay:

  • Blackish-blue head and shoulders
  • Deep purplish blue back
  • Rest of body is rich chestnut purple
  • Clear pale yellowish bill

Sexes similar. Juveniles are much drabber than adults.


Found only on the southern Japanese island of Amami-O-shima and on nearby tiny Kakeroma-jima. Records from Tokunoshima seem to be erroneous.
Restricted-range species with a tiny range and a small population. Threatened by introduced mongoose and increasing numbers of Large-billed Crows.


Sometimes placed in genus Lalocitta.


Pine forest, sub-tropical woodland and cultivated areas especially around villages.


Mostly seen in pairs but sometimes larger groups may be encountered, especially in winter. Uses his bill as a climbing aid like a parrot.


Feeds mainly on invertebrates but takes also small snakes and lizards. Stores acorns of native oak for later use.


Breeding recorded in February and May. The bird nests in large cavities in trees and 3-5 eggs are laid.


  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

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