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White-throated magpie-jay, Calocitta formosa
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Corvidae
Genus: Calocitta
G.R. Gray, 1841
Type species
Pica formosa
Swainson, 1827
  • Calocitta colliei
  • Calocitta formosa

The magpie-jays are a genus, Calocitta, of the family Corvidae (crow-like birds) native to the southern part of North America. Sometimes placed in the genus Cyanocorax. The two known species are known to form hybrids.

The genus was introduced in 1841 by the English zoologist George Robert Gray with the white-throated magpie-jay (Calocitta formosa) as the type species.[1][2] The name Calocitta combines the Ancient Greek kalos meaning "beautiful" and kitta meaning "jay".[3]


The genus contains two species.[4]

Image Scientific name Common Name Distribution
Black-throated Magpie Jay RWD.jpg Calocitta colliei Black-throated magpie-jay Mexico from southern Sonora south to Jalisco and northwestern Colima
Calocitta formosa -Costa Rica -upper body-8.jpg Calocitta formosa White-throated magpie-jay South eastern Mexico, western Guatemala, and Costa Rica


  1. ^ Gray, George Robert (1841). A List of the Genera of Birds : with their Synonyma and an Indication of the Typical Species of Each Genus (2nd ed.). London: R. and J.E. Taylor. p. 50.
  2. ^ Mayr, Ernst; Greenway, James C. Jr, eds. (1962). Check-List of Birds of the World. Vol. 15. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 228.
  3. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 85. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  4. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (2020). "Crows, mudnesters, birds-of-paradise". IOC World Bird List Version 10.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 9 October 2020.

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