Purplish-backed Jay Cyanocorax beecheii

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Corvidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Lindsey Power and Cameron K. Ghalambor
  • © Laurel Parshall

Endemic to the Pacific slope coastal lowlands of northwestern Mexico, Purplish-backed Jay, or Beechey’s Jay, is found in dry deciduous forests below about 600 m, including coastal scrub and even mangroves. This jay takes its English name from its dark blue to deep purplish upperparts (back, wings and tail), which contrast with the wholly black head and underparts. Otherwise its most striking feature undoubtedly is the yellow iris, although the stiffened, brush-like forehead feathers may also draw attention. Like many New World jays, this species is broadly omnivorous. Among its rather limited vocal repertoire is at least one rather Corvus-like vocalization, which appears to vary quite markedly on an individual basis.


© Andrew Spencer

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Power, L. and C. K. Ghalambor (2014). Purplish-backed Jay (Cyanocorax beecheii), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.pubjay1.01