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Plush-crested Jay - BirdForum Opus

Alternative names: Plush-capped Jay; Band-tailed Jay; Uracca Jay

A bird with yellowish underparts
Photo by Francisco Paludo
Pilarzinho, Curitiba, PR, Brazil, July 2017
Cyanocorax chrysops


32 - 35cm. The most widespread South American jay.

  • Stiffened feathers on head and crown create a peculiar plush-like cap
  • Black forehead, crown and side of head
  • Ultramarine spot over eye and smaller spot below rear eye
  • Large cyan-blue malar stripe, rather broad just below eye
  • Indigo-blue upperparts, nape white (blue in diesingii)
  • Indigo-blue tail with pale white or yellowish tips
  • Upper breast and throat sepia
  • Rest of underparts variable creamy to whitish
  • Yellow eye
  • Blackish bill and legs

Sexes similar. Juveniles have a pale bluish-muave nape and facial markings appear only after the first month.

Similar species

Similar to White-naped Jay but ranges only meet marginally.


South-central and eastern South America.
Common to abundant in most of its range.



Four subspecies recognized:

The described form interpositus from Alagoas, Brazil is usually not recognized.
Forms a species pair with White-naped Jay and has been considered conspecific with it. May also form a superspecies with White-naped Jay and Tufted Jay.


Various types of woodlands and low thick scrub. Mostly from the lowlands up to 1500m but recorded at 2800m in Bolivia.


These are noisy birds which can imitate the calls of other birds.
They feed on invertebrates (mainly insects) and fruits. They may also take nestlings of other birds, frogs and eggs. Where available maize is an important food source.
Breeding season from October to December in the southern part of its range. A communal breeder, the previous year's offspring help care for new chicks. The nest is a rounded cup made of twigs. It's placed 4 - 7m above the ground in a densely foliaged tree. Lays 2 - 4 eggs.
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

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.