Aserrí, San José, Costa Rica
|Range (click to magnify)|
It occurs from Mexico south into Central America on the Gulf slope. The northernmost extent of the bird is on the Rio Grande in southern Texas, the lower region of the river called the Rio Grande Valley, (of Texas).
Brown Jays vary in plumage geographically: there are two main groups. Northern birds are almost completely dark brown, with lighter brown on the underparts. Southern birds are white-bellied and have bright white tips to the outer tailfeathers. The intergrade zone is in Veracruz.
Adults in both populations have black bills, legs, and feet. Immatures have yellow bare parts, including yellow eye-rings.
The voice is a loud but low pitched pee-ah call and is often modified to suit its situation or mood.
Food is sought largely in trees but it also takes some food from the ground. Insects and a wide range of other invertebrates are taken, also lizards, fruit, and nectar. Though it does take eggs and nestlings, it appears not to if there is plenty of other foods available.
The nest is built in a tree or large shrub with both sexes helping in construction. There are normally three eggs laid but six is not unusual. Incubation is between 18 and 20 days. Only the female broods but the father feeds her while doing so.
Sometimes the young from another year will help in raising the chicks too. If a helper bird returns with food, it will give it to one of the resident parents to feed the chicks.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Psilorhinus morio". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
- E.g. of Trophis racemosa (Moraceae), though they are rather indiscriminating feeders (Foster 2007).
- Foster, Mercedes S. (2007): The potential of fruiting trees to enhance converted habitats for migrating birds in southern Mexico. Bird Conservation International 17(1): 45-61. doi:10.1017/S0959270906000554 PDF fulltext
- Juvenile bird with yellow bill
- VIREO: Brown Jay photo gallery
- Internet Bird Collection: Brown Jay videos
- Photo-High Res - greglasley.net
- Photoe-High Res; Article - otterside.com–"Crow/Jay Image page"