Brown Jay (Psilorhinus morio)

Brown Jay

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Corvidae | [latin] Psilorhinus morio | [UK] Brown Jay | [FR] Geai brun | [DE] Braunhaher | [ES] Chara Papan | [NL] Bruine Gaai


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Calocitta morio
Psilorhinus morio MA widespread, also s Texas
Psilorhinus morio morio
Psilorhinus morio palliatus
Psilorhinus morio vociferus

Physical charateristics

A large sooty brown jay, darkest (almost blackish) on the head, paling to light brown or dull creamy white on the belly. Bill black or yellow (young).

Listen to the sound of Brown Jay

[audio: Jay.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 73 cm wingspan max.: 79 cm
size min.: 38 cm size max.: 43 cm
incubation min.: 18 days incubation max.: 23 days
fledging min.: 28 days fledging max.: 35 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 7  


Middle America : widespread, also South Texas


Dense riverside woods.
In Texas, found locally in relatively tall, dense, native woods along Rio Grande. In Mexico and Central America, lives in a variety of woodland habitats, especially around clearings, open woods, forest edges.


Nesting habits in Texas not well known. Farther south, has complicated social system. Each flock has only one nest; eggs in nest may be laid by only one female or by more than one; all adults in flock help to feed young in nest.
Nest: Site is in tree or shrub, usually fairly low in Texas, probably in the range of 15-
30′ above the ground. Nest may be built by pair or by several adults. Often placed out at fork in horizontal limb. Nest is a bulky cup of sticks and twigs, lined with bark fibers, weeds, other soft material.
Eggs: 3-4, sometimes 2-8. Blue-gray, spotted with brown. Incubation is by female (or by multiple females), about 18-20 days; other adults in flock may feed incubating female.
Young: Fed by all adults in flock. Young leave nest about 3-4 weeks after hatching.

Feeding habits

Omnivorous. Feeds on a wide variety of insects, also spiders, small lizards, rodents, eggs and nestlings of smaller birds. Also feeds on berries, fruits, seeds, nectar.
Usually forages in flocks. Forages on the ground in dense cover, or in shrubs or trees, hopping about actively through the branches. Visits large flowers to feed on nectar and possibly insects there. Will break open hard nuts or seeds by pounding on them
with bill.


This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Brown Jay status Least Concern


Southern tip of Texas south through eastern Mexico to Caribbean slope of Central America to northwestern Panama. Migration: Permanent resident.

Distribution map

Brown Jay distribution range map

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