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Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version

 - Brown Jay
 - Brown Jay

Brown Jay Psilorhinus morio

Matthew F. Jones
Version: 1.0 — Published November 9, 2012

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Brown Jay (Psilorhinus morio) is a common and vocal resident of Central America occurring from the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas south to northwestern Panama. Brown Jays are relatively large, and predominately are dark brown with a pale buff brown or pale white vent and belly. Two color morphs, plain-tailed and white-tipped, primarily differ in color of retrices: plain-tailed morphs possess an entirely brown tail while white-tipped morphs possess white tips on outer retrices. Brown Jays prefer lowland disturbed forest and edge habitat, generally avoiding forest interior. As a result, many populations are increasing due to deforestation, which increases open area and edge habitat. Brown Jays are extremely aggressive and have been observed fending off and even attacking large predators. They travel in small flocks that consist of one or two breeding pairs, as well as nonbreeding immatures. Brown Jays are highly social and cooperative breeders. The 'helper birds' are key to the reproductive success of the group, increasing the survival of juveniles, and reducing the likelihood of predation. Unique among corvids, Brown Jays possess a bare skin furcular pouch, which is normally hidden by breast and throat feathers but becomes visible when inflated with air during vocalizations.

Distribution of the Brown Jay - Range Map
  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Brown Jay

Recommended Citation

Jones, M. F. (2012). Brown Jay (Psilorhinus morio), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.brnjay.01