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Cyanocorax chrysops MG 9622.jpg
Plush-crested jay, Cyanocorax chrysops
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Corvidae
Genus: Cyanocorax
F. Boie, 1826

see text

Cyanocorax is a genus of New World jays, passerine birds in the crow family, Corvidae. The generic name is derived from the Greek words κυανος (kuanos), meaning "dark blue," and κοραξ (korax), meaning "raven".[1]

It contains several closely related species that primarily are found in wooded habitats of Mexico and Central and South America, with the green jay just barely entering the United States. Coincidentally, it is also the only species in this genus where the upperparts are not primarily blue or purplish.

The genus Cyanocorax was introduced by the German zoologist Friedrich Boie in 1826 with the plush-crested jay as the type species.[2][3] The name of the genus is from Ancient Greek kuanos "dark-blue" and korakos "raven" or "crow".[4]


The genus contains 17 species:[5]

Image Scientific name Common Name Distribution
Bushy-crested Jay 2496235716.jpg Cyanocorax melanocyaneus Bushy-crested jay Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua
San Blas Jay.jpg Cyanocorax sanblasianus San Blas jay Mexico
Chara Yucateca - panoramio.jpg Cyanocorax yucatanicus Yucatan jay Yucatán Peninsula
Purplish-backed Jay (Cyanocorax beecheii) (8079391927).jpg Cyanocorax beecheii Purplish-backed jay northwestern Mexico
Cyanocorax violaceus (cropped).jpg Cyanocorax violaceus Violaceous jay Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Venezuela.
Gralha-azul.jpg Cyanocorax caeruleus Azure jay south-eastern Brazil (São Paulo to Rio Grande do Sul), far eastern Paraguay and far north-eastern Argentina.
Cyanocorax cyanomelas.jpg Cyanocorax cyanomelas Purplish jay northern Argentina, Bolivia, southern Brazil, Paraguay and southeastern Peru.
Cyanocorax cristatellus -Piraju, Sao Paulo, Brazil-8 (cropped).jpg Cyanocorax cristatellus Curl-crested jay northeastern Brazil.
Tufted Jay.jpg Cyanocorax dickeyi Tufted jay Sierra Madre Occidental of Sinaloa and Durango in Mexico.
Cyanocorax affinis.jpg Cyanocorax affinis Black-chested jay Colombia, northwestern Venezuela, Panama and far eastern Costa Rica.
White-tailedJay.jpg Cyanocorax mystacalis White-tailed jay Ecuador and Peru.
Cayenne Jay (Cyanocorax cayanus) (cropped).jpg Cyanocorax cayanus Cayenne jay Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, and Venezuela
Cyanocorax heilprini Azure-naped jay Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela.
Cyanocorax chrysops 001 1280.jpg Cyanocorax chrysops Plush-crested jay southwestern Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and northeastern Argentina
Cyanocorax cyanopogon -Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil-8.jpg Cyanocorax cyanopogon White-naped jay Brazil
Querrequerre (Cyanocorax yncas).jpg Cyanocorax luxuosus Green jay southern Texas to Honduras.
Inca Jay JCB.jpg Cyanocorax yncas Inca jay Colombia and Venezuela through Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.

Some ornithologists treat the green jay and the Inca jay as conspecific with C. yncas luxuosus as the green jay and C. yncas yncas as the Inca jay.[6][7]


  1. ^ Holloway, Joel Ellis (2003). Dictionary of Birds of the United States: Scientific and Common Names. Timber Press. p. 79. ISBN 978-0-88192-600-2.
  2. ^ Boie, Friedrich (1826). "Generalübersicht". Isis von Oken (in German). Col 975.
  3. ^ Mayr, Ernst; Greenway, James C. Jr, eds. (1962). Check-list of birds of the world. Volume 15. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 220.
  4. ^ Jobling, J.A. (2018). del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J.; Christie, D.A.; de Juana, E. (eds.). "Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  5. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2018). "Crows, mudnesters, birds-of-paradise". World Bird List Version 8.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  6. ^ dos Anjos, L. (2018). del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J.; Christie, D.A.; de Juana, E. (eds.). "Green Jay (Cyanocorax yncas)". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  7. ^ Dickinson, E.C.; Christidis, L., eds. (2014). The Howard & Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: Passerines (4th ed.). Eastbourne, UK: Aves Press. pp. 240–241. ISBN 978-0-9568611-2-2.
  • Madge, S.; H. Burn (1999). Crows and Jays. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-7136-5207-1.

External links[edit]

Data related to Cyanocorax at Wikispecies Media related to Cyanocorax at Wikimedia Commons