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Mexican Jay Aphelocoma ultramarina


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Mexican Jay
credit:  Alan Vernon/CCSA

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Family: Corvidae, Crows, Magpies, Jays view all from this family

Description ADULT ssp. arizonae has pale gray back, mostly pale blue head, wings, and tail, and pale gray underparts. Bill and legs are dark. Adult ssp. couchii is much darker overall, particularly on upperparts. JUVENILE Dark gray overall, with a hint of blue on head. Bill is yellow in ssp. arizonae, dark in ssp. couchii.

Dimensions Length: 11 1/2 -13" (29-33 cm)

Habitat A mainly Mexican species with two distinct populations in U.S.: ssp. arizonae in Arizona and southeastern New Mexico, and ssp. couchii in western Texas.

Observation Tips It may take a while to track down your first Mexican Jay, but once you see an individual bird you are likely to encounter a whole flock. Listen for their distinctive contact calls.

Range Southwest, Texas

Voice Utters a clipped wiik, wiikÖ, with members of family flock calling to one another.

Discussion Subtly beautiful bird with a typical jay appearance: slim body, long tail, narrow bill, and bluish coloration overall. Usually seen in sizeable and noisy family groups that forage, methodically, at human walking pace, through foliage and undergrowth; engages in cooperative breeding. Sexes are similar.