The Green Jay (Cyanocorax yncas) is a striking bird species found in parts of Central America and southern Texas. Adults measure approximately 11 inches in length, including their long tails, and weigh between 2.5 and 3.5 ounces. These jays have a distinctive appearance, with bright green feathers covering their head, back, and wings, complemented by blackish-brown feathers on their face and throat, and pale blue feathers on their chest and belly.
The Green Jay’s most distinguishing field mark is its green plumage, which contrasts with its dark facial markings and blue chest. Their wings also have a conspicuous blue patch, which is only visible when the bird is in flight. The bill is black, and the eyes are pale gray. Juvenile birds have a duller coloration, with greenish-gray feathers on their head and back, and a more muted blue color on their chest.
Green Jays are primarily non-migratory birds, but some populations may make seasonal movements in response to changes in food availability. In southern Texas, where the species is more common, Green Jays are resident throughout the year, and they are also found in the Mexican states of Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosí, Veracruz, and Oaxaca. These jays are typically found in open woodlands, brushy areas, and along the edges of forests.
In addition to their distinctive appearance, Green Jays are known for their noisy and gregarious behavior. They are social birds and often travel in small groups or family units, and they are not shy around humans. These jays are opportunistic feeders and will eat a variety of foods, including fruits, seeds, insects, and small vertebrates. They are also known to visit bird feeders, particularly those stocked with peanuts.
Despite their relatively small range, Green Jays are popular among birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts. Their striking appearance, vocalizations, and bold behavior make them an exciting species to observe, particularly in their natural habitats.