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Purplish Jay - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Stanley Jones
Villa Carmen Lodge, Pillcopata, Cusco Department, Peru, September 2018
Cyanocorax cyanomelas


37cm (14½ in).

  • Short black frontal crest
  • Brownish-black head, throat and breast
  • Rest of plumage dull bluish-purple with brownish wash
  • Blackish undertail
  • Dark brown iris
  • Black bills and legs

Sexes similar. Juveniles are paler and duller than adults.


Found from extreme southeast Peru to Bolivia, Paraguay, southwest Brazil, north Argentina and northwest Uruguay.
Generally fairly common.


This is a monotypic species[1].
May form a superspecies with Azure Jay and probably also Violaceous Jay and Curl-crested Jay.


Subtropical or tropical dry forests, subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, and heavily degraded former forest. Occurs mainly in the lowlands but recorded up to 2000m.


They are noisy and conspicuous usually moving in groups of about 6 birds.


Feeds on invertebrates, fruits and berries. May also take eggs and nestlings.


Breeding recorded from October to December. One described nest was made of twigs and creeper stems and placed 3m above the ground in a low tree. Lays 2 - 6 eggs.


A resident species.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  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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