Inca Jay (Cyanocorax yncas)

Inca Jay

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Corvidae | [latin] Cyanocorax yncas | [UK] Inca Jay | [FR] Geai inca | [DE] Incahaher | [ES] Picahayote | [NL] Inkagaai


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Psilorhinus yncas
Cyanocorax yncas SA Venezuela to Bolivia
Cyanocorax yncas cyanodorsalis
Cyanocorax yncas galeatus
Cyanocorax yncas guatimalensis
Cyanocorax yncas longirostris
Cyanocorax yncas yncas

Physical charateristics

The only green jay. Black throat patch; top of head bright blue, sides of tail yellow. Unique.

wingspan min.: 35 cm wingspan max.: 40 cm
size min.: 28 cm size max.: 31 cm
incubation min.: 17 days incubation max.: 18 days
fledging min.: 19 days fledging max.: 21 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 5  


South America : Venezuela to Bolivia


Brush, woodlands. In Texas, most common in dense native woodlands in the lowlands dominated by acacia, ebony, and hackberry; also lives in
more open mesquite brush and stands of short oaks, and in some suburbs with native vegetation nearby. In the tropics, often in humid forest in foothills and lower mountain slopes.


Pair or family group may defend territory throughout the year.
Nest: In Texas, site is in dense tree or shrub, usually 5-15′ above the ground. Nest (built by both sexes) is a bulky but loose cup of sticks, thorny twigs, lined with rootlets, grass, moss, and sometimes leaves.
Eggs: 3-5. Pale gray to greenish white, heavily spotted with brown and lavender. Incubation is by female only, about 17-18 days. Male may feed female during incubation.
Young: Both parents bring food for nestlings. Young leave nest about 19-
22 days after hatching. Young remain in parents’ territory through nesting season of following year, then are evicted. In some tropical areas, these one-year-olds help with feeding young in nest, but those in Texas apparently do not.

Feeding habits

Feeds on insects, including beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, true bugs, wasps, and many others. Also eats spiders, centipedes, small rodents, lizards, eggs and young of small birds. Feeds on plant material including various seeds, nuts, berries, small fr
Behavior: Forages by moving actively throug
h trees and shrubs, examining the foliage for food; drops to the ground for some items, and sometimes catches insects in midair. Cracks open hard seeds and nuts by pounding them with bill. Will come to bird feeders for a variety of items.


This species has an extremely 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.
It has been suggested that the North American taxa should be considered separate species, Cyanocorax luxuosus. If following this taxonomy, the northern species retains the common name Green Jay, while the South American population, which retains the scientific name C. yncas, is renamed the Inca Jay
Inca Jay status Least Concern


Southern tip of
Texas (resident) south to northern Honduras; also Venezuela to northern Bolivia. Migration: Permanent resident. Rarely wanders any distance from nesting areas.

Distribution map

Inca Jay distribution range map

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