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Tufted Jay - BirdForum Opus

Artwork by Progne Subis

Alternative name: Dickey's Jay

Cyanocorax dickeyi


37cm. A distinctive jay:

  • Prominent stiff, bristly, fan-shaped crest over crown starting at base of bill
  • Black forehead and crest
  • Large white patch above eye and extensive white patch on cheek and malar region, both bluish at edges
  • Black loral region, throat and upper breast
  • Black stripe extending from rear crown down side of neck and meeting black of upper breast
  • White nape, hindneck, upper mantle, lower side of neck and rest of underparts
  • Indigo-blue rest of upperparts
  • Cyan-blue tail base, white on terminal part
  • Bright yellow eye
  • Black bill and legs

Sexes similar. Juveniles have a short crest, a dark iris and only one bluish patch on side of head.


Endemic to the Sierra Madre Occidental in western Mexico.
Endangered as there are no protected sites within the small range.


May form a superspecies with Plush-crested Jay and White-naped Jay. Probably also closely related to White-tailed Jay.


Mixed deciduous and evergreen forest in hilly areas. Often close to watercourses. Occurs from 1350m to 2150m.


Feeds on plant material (acorns, plant fibres, seeds and fruits) and less on insects or eggs and nestlings.
Usually seen in small groups of 4 to 16 birds, very rarely on the ground.
Breeding seaon from April to June. Social breeder with up to ten helpers. The nest is a large, bulky construct made of larger sticks and twigs. It's placed 5 - 15m above the ground in a densely foliaged tree or bush. Lays 2 - 5 eggs.
A sedentary species.


  1. Clements, JF. 2008. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2008. 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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