Purplish Jay Cyanocorax cyanomelas

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Corvidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Donna Molfetto

The Purplish Jay is the dullest species of South American jay in coloration. It is found from southeastern Peru and northern Bolivia south to Paraguay, southwestern Brazil and northern Argentina. This jay occupies forest and woodlands, though it will also tolerate severely degraded and artificial habitats.  These curious, bold jays travel in family groups of six to eight individuals, sometimes with groups of Plush-crested Jays (Cyanocorax chrysops).  Their diet is mainly invertebrates and fruit, but they also scavenge carrion.  Little is known about their reproductive behavior, other than that they lay three to four eggs, blue with red-brown splotches, in a cup-shaped nest high in a tree.  Recent deforestation has allowed their distribution to expand eastward, which could be a problem for farmers who have reported harm to some crops by these birds.


© Michael Andersen

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

Recommended Citation

Molfetto, D. (2010). Purplish Jay (Cyanocorax cyanomelas), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.purjay1.01