Inca Jay

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Image:Green Jays.JPG

Common Name: Inca or Green Jay
Scientific Name: Cyanocorax yncas

Size: 11.7-13.6.4 inches (29.5-34.3 cm)

Habitat: South America; broad sweep across the highlands (primarily the Andes) of South America in Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.

Found in humid forests.

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: Unknown amount of mature individuals.

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. The crown can appear almost entirely white, with less extensive blue, and there's a prominent black crest behind the bill. 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. It has large nasal bristles that form a distinct tuft. The color of the iris is bright yellow.

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 3-5 pale greenish white eggs with dark spots near large end. In Colombia, the Inca Jay retains offspring for several years, and those young help the parents raise more chicks.

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.

As with most of the typical jays, this species has a very extensive voice repertoire. The bird's most common call makes a rassh-rassh-rassh sound, but many other unusual notes also occur. One of the most distinctive calls sounds like an alarm bell.

Found in Songbird ReMix Cool 'n' Unusual Birds 3

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