Green Jay

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Image:Green Jays.JPG

Common Name: Green Jay
Scientific Name: Cyanocorax luxuosus

Size: 10-11.4 inches (25-29 cm)

Habitat: North America; Southern Texas south into Mexico and Central America.

Found in open woodland and brushy mesquite thickets.

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: Unknown amount of mature individuals. The range appears to be expanding in Texas.

Diet: Arthropods, vertebrates, seeds, and fruit. They take ebony (Ebenopsis spp.) seeds where these occur, and also any oak species' acorns, which they will cache. Meat and human scraps add to the diet when opportunity arises. Green Jays have been observed using sticks as tools to extract insects from tree bark.

Breeding: Sexes are alike. They have feathers of yellowish-white with blue tips on the top of the head, cheeks and nape. A black bib forms a thick band up to the sides of the head as well as a stripe through the eye line and one above it. The breast and under parts typically are bright to dull yellow, or strongly green-tinged in the far northernmost part of its range. The upper parts are rich green. The color of the iris ranges from dark brownish to hazel.

A Green Jay flock consists of a breeding pair, the current year's nestlings, and one-year-old, non-breeding jays from the previous year's nest. The one-year-olds defend the territory, which aids the parents, but they are ejected from the family flock soon after the current year's nestlings have fledged.

Nests are a flimsy open cup of thorny twigs, usually lined with fine roots, vine stems, moss, and dry grass and are placed in trees. The female lays pale greenish white eggs with dark spots near large end.

Cool Facts: The Central American and South American populations of the Green Jay are separated by 1,500 km (900 mi). The two different groups differ in color, calls, and habitat use, and may be different species. The South American Green Jays are larger and have a crest in front of their eyes. It has been suggested that the North American taxa should be considered separate species, Cyanocorax luxuosus. If following this taxonomy, the northern species retains the common name Green Jay, while the South American population, which retains the scientific name Cyanocorax yncas, is renamed the Inca Jay

Found in Songbird ReMix Cool 'n' Unusual Birds 3

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