Cyanocorax is a genus of New World jays, passerine birds in the crow family, Corvidae. The generic name is derived from the Greek words κυανος (kuanos), meaning "dark blue," and κοραξ (korax), meaning "raven".[1]

Plush-crested jay, Cyanocorax chrysops
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Corvidae
Genus: Cyanocorax
F. Boie, 1826

see text

It contains several closely related species that primarily are found in wooded habitats of Mexico and Central and South America, with the green jay just barely entering the United States. Coincidentally, it is also the only species in this genus where the upperparts are not primarily blue or purplish.

The genus Cyanocorax was introduced by the German zoologist Friedrich Boie in 1826 with the plush-crested jay as the type species.[2][3] The name of the genus is from Ancient Greek kuanos "dark-blue" and korakos "raven" or "crow".[4]


The genus contains 17 species:[5]

ImageScientific nameCommon NameDistribution
Cyanocorax melanocyaneusBushy-crested jayGuatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua
Cyanocorax sanblasianusSan Blas jayMexico
Cyanocorax yucatanicusYucatan jayYucatán Peninsula
Cyanocorax beecheiiPurplish-backed jaynorthwestern Mexico
Cyanocorax violaceusViolaceous jayBolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Venezuela.
Cyanocorax caeruleusAzure jaysouth-eastern Brazil (São Paulo to Rio Grande do Sul), far eastern Paraguay and far north-eastern Argentina.
Cyanocorax cyanomelasPurplish jaynorthern Argentina, Bolivia, southern Brazil, Paraguay and southeastern Peru.
Cyanocorax cristatellusCurl-crested jaynortheastern Brazil.
Cyanocorax dickeyiTufted jaySierra Madre Occidental of Sinaloa and Durango in Mexico.
Cyanocorax affinisBlack-chested jayColombia, northwestern Venezuela, Panama and far eastern Costa Rica.
Cyanocorax mystacalisWhite-tailed jayEcuador and Peru.
Cyanocorax cayanusCayenne jayBrazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, and Venezuela
Cyanocorax heilpriniAzure-naped jayBrazil, Colombia, and Venezuela.
Cyanocorax chrysopsPlush-crested jaysouthwestern Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and northeastern Argentina
Cyanocorax cyanopogonWhite-naped jayBrazil
Cyanocorax luxuosusGreen jaysouthern Texas to Honduras.
Cyanocorax yncasInca jayColombia and Venezuela through Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.

Some ornithologists treat the green jay and the Inca jay as conspecific with C. yncas luxuosus as the green jay and C. yncas yncas as the Inca jay.[6][7]


  1. Holloway, Joel Ellis (2003). Dictionary of Birds of the United States: Scientific and Common Names. Timber Press. p. 79. ISBN 978-0-88192-600-2.
  2. Boie, Friedrich (1826). "Generalübersicht". Isis von Oken (in German). Col 975.
  3. Mayr, Ernst; Greenway, James C. Jr, eds. (1962). Check-list of birds of the world. Volume 15. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 220.
  4. Jobling, J.A. (2018). del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J.; Christie, D.A.; de Juana, E. (eds.). "Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  5. Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2018). "Crows, mudnesters, birds-of-paradise". World Bird List Version 8.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  6. dos Anjos, L. (2018). del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J.; Christie, D.A.; de Juana, E. (eds.). "Green Jay (Cyanocorax yncas)". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  7. Dickinson, E.C.; Christidis, L., eds. (2014). The Howard & Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: Passerines (4th ed.). Eastbourne, UK: Aves Press. pp. 240–241. ISBN 978-0-9568611-2-2.
  • Madge, S.; H. Burn (1999). Crows and Jays. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-7136-5207-1.

Data related to Cyanocorax at Wikispecies Media related to Cyanocorax at Wikimedia Commons

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