Azure jay

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Azure jay
Gralha-azul.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Corvidae
Genus: Cyanocorax
Species: C. caeruleus
Binomial name
Cyanocorax caeruleus
Vieillot, 1818
CyanocoraxCaeruleusHabitat.jpg
Approximate distribution in green

The azure jay (Cyanocorax caeruleus) (Brazilian Portuguese: Gralha-azul - blue jay) is a passeriform bird of the crow family Corvidae. It is found in the Atlantic Forest, especially with Araucaria angustifolia, in south-eastern Brazil (São Paulo to Rio Grande do Sul), far eastern Paraguay and far north-eastern Argentina. It is the state bird of Paraná.

The azure jay has a total length of approximately 40 cm (16 in) and it weighs about 270 g (9.5 oz), and is the largest South American corvid. Its plumage is intensely blue with a contrasting black head and upper chest. Males and females are similar, although the females typically are smaller.

Its breeding season is from October to January. This bird is a social breeder. It lays 2–4 eggs and its nest is made of sticks. It is placed 10–20 m (33–66 ft) above the ground in an Araucaria tree.

It feeds extensively on the nut-like seeds of Araucaria angustifolia, but it is not strictly limited to this, since it also feeds on insects and fruit. As other corvids, azure jays are highly intelligent. Their communication is complex, consisting of at least 14 distinct vocalizations. They form groups of 4 to 15 individuals that are well organized in hierarchies. These groups remain stable for up to two generations.

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