Beautiful jay

Beautiful jay
Cyanolyca pulchra

Photo by Andrew Spencer (Facebook)

Common name:
beautiful jay (en); gaio-formoso (pt); geai superbe (fr); chara hermosa (es); schmuckhäher (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Corvidae

This species is found in the western slopes of the Andes, from central Colombia to northern Ecuador.

These birds are about 27 cm long.

The beautiful jay is found in subtropical rainforests, favouring areas with dense understorey, particularly along watercourses and in marshy areas. They occur at altitudes of 900-2.300, favouring dense

They forage on the forest understorey, taking arthropods such as grasshoppers, dragonflies, butterflies, spider, centipedes, ticks and mites.

Beautiful jays breed in March-June. They nest in a cup made of sticks and moss, and lined with fine plant fibres, which is placed in a small tree or scrub, about 3 m above the ground. The female lays 2 eggs. there is no information regarding the incubation period, but the chicks are fed by both parents and fledge about 24 days after hatching.

IUCN status – NT (Near-Threatened)
This species has a relatively large breeding range, but is described as rare and patchily distributed. The population is suspected to be declining at a slow to moderate rate due to ongoing habitat loss. The beautiful jay is extremely sensitive to human disturbance and appears almost exclusively dependent upon primary forest which are threatened by unplanned colonisation following the completion of roads, and massive logging concessions, as well as cattle-grazing, mining and coca and palm cultivation. In Chocó, 40% of all forests have been cleared or degraded since the 1960s.

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