Did You Know? 21 Incredible Crested Jay Facts

Crested jay facts are about these unique birds.

There are a total of 40 or more jay bird species in the world. Crested jays (Platylophus galericulatus) belong to the same family. Some popular species in the family include the plush crested jay (Cyanocorax chrysops), curl crested jays (Cyancorax cristatellus), and other similar species. Crested jays similar to other jaybirds are migratory and stay north in the winter and migrate to south regions in the spring.. Young jaybirds are more likely to migrate as compared to adults.

They are extremely attractive in appearance. They are omnivorous birds and feed on both insects as well as seeds. Crested jays are seen in wooded areas and forests in South America, Bolivia, and Brazil. They are classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN Red List. Major threats they face apart from predators include deforestation, habitat loss, and  the illegal pet trade.

For more relatable content, check out the bee-eater and hummingbird.

Crested Jay

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Insects and eggs of other birds

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

2-4 eggs

How much do they weigh?

0.27- 0.37 lb (122-167 g)

How long are they?

12.59- 13.77 in (32-35 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Charcoal black

Skin Type


What are their main threats?

Hawks, owls, and falcons

What is their conservation status?

Near Threatened

Where you'll find them

Wooded areas and forests


South America, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Brazil





Scientific Name

Platylophus galericulatus





Crested Jay Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a crested jay?

The crested jay is a type of bird that belongs to the kingdom Animalia and order Passeriformes.

What class of animal does a crested jay belong to?

Crested jays belong to class Aves, family Corvidae, and genus Platylophus.

How many crested jays are there in the world?

The exact crested jays population in the wild us not evaluated. The plush crested jay (Cyanocorax chrysops) and the curl crested jay (Cyancorax cristatellus) populations are expected to decline.

Where does a crested jay live?

Crested jays live in woods, forests, and near river basins. These birds are seen in South America, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand. They are migratory and travel south post-winter.

What is a crested jay's habitat?

The crested jay's habitat range constitutes forests, woodland areas, river basins, and other similar habitats where they can easily find access to food. They are mainly seen sitting on tree branches. They are largely solitary birds and seldom seen with other birds of their own kind. A plush crested jay habitat is also similar. They are spotted easily in South America and nearby regions in the north and south including Bolivia.

Who do crested jays live with?

Crested jays live by themselves as solitary birds until the mating season when they meet in areas for mating. They build their own nest however, they are known to raid other birds' nests in order to feed on the eggs.

How long does a crested jay live?

A crested jay's exact lifespan is not recorded. A banded blue jay is known to have lived for 26 years and 11 months, and was the oldest recorded jaybird in the world. The blue jay bird was eventually caught in fishing gear.

How do they reproduce?

Male and female crested jays reproduce sexually. Breeding season occurs yearly in this species. They are territorial of their breeding territory and chase out any possible predators. The nest they build is usually cup-shaped. When the female is expecting, the male feeds her and once the female lays the eggs, they both feed the offspring until they begin fledging and are fully independent. The chicks are born blind at birth and featherless, but they develop over time. Other species of jays like the plush crested jay (Cyanocorax chrysops) and the curl crested jay (Cyancorax cristatellus) also have similar reproductive cycles.

What is their conservation status?

Crested jays are classified as Near Threatened by the International Union For Conservation Of Nature IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species. The crested jay range map is available on the IUCN Red List website. The plush crested jays' IUCN status is Least Concern by the IUCN Red List.

Crested Jay Fun Facts

What do crested jays look like?

Crested jays have a charcoal black appearance with a white patch near their neck. They have a black tail, head, and breast as well. They are small to medium-sized birds. Crested jays are primarily distinguished for their unique crest and beak which is pointed but not too sharp. Their tail feathers are longer as compared to the rest of their body. More than half their body is covered with feathers. Their eye color is black and they have a slight white eye-ring. Their feet are dark-colored and they have pointed claws which are sharp. You should not confuse them with a jay-like dark crested bird, also known as a Steller's jay.

Crested jays are small to medium-sized birds with a charcoal black overall plumage.

How cute are they?

These birds are extremely cute in appearance and their dark color sets them apart from the background that they reside in. They range in South America and other central and nearby regions. These are wild birds hence it's best to observe them from a distance.

How do they communicate?

These birds communicate in various ways. They make use of multiple vocalizations and calls to communicate via courtship and other activities in their life. They have loud calls in some instances and slightly tamed calls in other instances. Their calls can be noisy in some instances. Owing to their loud calls, they might not make ideal pets.

How big is a crested jay?

A crested jay is  12.59- 13.77 in (32-35 cm) in length which is 20 times bigger than the bee hummingbird which is 2.1-2.4 in (5.5- 6.1 cm), known as the smallest bird in the world.  

How fast can a crested jay fly?

The crested jay and other jays are mostly migratory hence they have the capacity to fly long distances, even if they don't fly at great speeds. The peregrine is known as the fastest bird in the world which has the capability to fly at 200 mph (321.8 kph).

How much does a crested jay weigh?

Crested jays weigh 0.27- 0.37 lb (122-167 g). The ostrich is the heaviest bird in the world and its egg is the biggest among all species of birds. Ostriches can weigh somewhere between 200-280 lb (90.7- 127 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

A crested jay female and male are not addressed differently. Males and females differ in reproductive functions. It's difficult to tell male and female crested jays apart.

What would you call a baby crested jay?

Baby crested jays can be called a chick similar to other juvenile birds and are small in size. They are extremely small in size and dependent on their parents for food and shelter.

What do they eat?

A crested jay is primarily an omnivore. They feed on insects and the eggs of other birds. Insects including worms, western conifer seed bugs, and other insects seen in the wild comprise their diet. They also feed on fruits. Predators to this bird include the hawk, owl and falcon.

Are they poisonous?

No, these birds are not poisonous or dangerous in nature. They are seldom seen near human settlements and are best observed in their natural habitats. Their instant response to any form of danger is their flight instinct.

Would they make a good pet?

No, these birds are innately wild birds and they are not ideal to be domesticated. If you wish to see such species of birds, it's best to observe them in the wild. If you wish to adopt birds as pets, you should consider other species of birds. They can be loud and noisy. Noisy birds are not ideally preferred for adoption.  

Did you know...

In the book and movie series 'Hunger Games', the mockingjay was a species created through accidental mating of a Jabberjays and a mockingbird hence the name Mockingjay. They were uniquely known for their ability to mimic human sounds. The Mockingjay was the symbol and leader of the second rebellion.

In the 19th century, the blue feathers on jaybirds were considered a fashion accessory and this led to them being victims to fashion trends. The Duchess of Edinburgh, Maria Alexandrovna, in 1880 owned a muff made entirely out of such feathers.

How do you identify a crested jay?

Crested jays are identified by their crest which is usually on top of their head. Their crest on the head is also black in color as well as their tail, head, and breast. It's common to spot jaybirds in various regions of the world but crested jays can only be spotted in certain regions. You can spot a crested jay easily by its charcoal black color. Crested jays are native to South America, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand.

Other crested jays species include the crested gray jay, blue feathered crested jay, plush crested jay, black-crested blue jay, Florida crested jay, white-crested magpie jay, long-crested jay, blue jay crested, bushy crested jay, curl crested jay, and crested western jay. A special feature of these birds is that they are specifically intelligent birds.  

Who builds the nest?

Both male and female sexes build the nests however only the female broods them. The male feeds the female when she broods and once the nestlings are laid, the female and males feed the young. Male and female sexes are extremely hard to tell apart.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our blue jay facts and vesper sparrow facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable stellers jay coloring pages.



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