Animals

Mexican Jay: 21 Facts You Won't Believe!

One of the interesting Mexican jay facts is that this jay species looks like a small blue gray crow in photos, characterized by its gray underparts and black bill.
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A Mexican jay (Aphelocoma wollweberi) is a small crow like bird with blue gray plumage. It has a blue head, pale underparts, a black bill, and a long tail. Their visual attributes may sometimes be insufficient to differentiate between similar species of jays, especially in photos. This includes the Transvolcanic jay (Aphelocoma ultramarina), the Pinyan jay with its darker plumage, and the popular blue jay.

Mexican jays are omnivores, just like blue jays. They are found in several parts of Mexico, including central Mexico and southwestern New Mexico.

Just like the blue jay, Mexican jays are found in southern states in North America including southeastern Arizona, and the big bend portion of Texas. The blue jay is also found in Florida. The jay Mexican is also a passerine, a melodious songbird. These birds are gloriously celebrated for their musical vocal chords when the seasons change, especially during the months of March, June, and August.

You may also check out the fact files on pinyon jay and blue jay from Kidadl.

Mexican Jay

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Acorns, nuts, plants, seeds, insects, and small reptiles

What do they eat?

Omnivore

Average litter size?

4

How much do they weigh?

3-5 oz (100–150 g)

How long are they?

11-12 in (27-30 cm)

How tall are they?

N/A

What do they look like?

Blue and gray

Skin Type

Feathers

What are their main threats?

Birds of prey

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Mountainous pine oak woodlands

Locations

North America (Arizona, Texas) and South America (Mexico)

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Aves

Scientific Name

Aphelocoma wollweberi

Family

Corvidae

Genus

Aphelocoma

Mexican Jay Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Mexican jay?

It is a crow like bird, although this bird species is far more colorful.

What class of animal does a Mexican jay belong to?

This jay belongs to the Aves class.

How many Mexican jays are there in the world?

The exact count of Mexican jays in the wild is undetermined. Experts estimate that there are thousands of these birds in their native home range spread across North America and South America.

Where does a Mexican jay live?

This jaybird is found in the woods in its native home range on mountains, amidst thick oak woodlands.

What is a Mexican jay's habitat?

The natural habitat of a Mexican jay bird lies up in the mountains, nestled within oak woodlands in both North American states and South American countries. It is commonly found in this relatively large home range including Texas, southeastern Arizona, New Mexico, and several parts of central Mexico.

Who does a Mexican jay live with?

A Mexican jay is a social bird, living in a group of 20-25 birds within its native home range. Each flock has smaller groups of four to seven group members in size, so they function much like a family with individual members.

How long does a Mexican jay live?

Many of these birds go on live for almost two decades or 20 years in their home range.

How do they reproduce?

Mexican jays are mostly monogamous in nature. In some cases, they may have a couple of partners within their flock. They have a characteristic mating ritual during the breeding season.  The breeding season also coincides with the wet season in their native home range including south Arizona, the big bend portion of Texas, southwestern New Mexico, and several areas of central Mexico. This ensures that their favored diet of acorns and pine nuts is easily available to feed their young ones.

During this time, a male kicks off the season as he begins to build a nest in a preferred breeding site. He then woos his partner through a mating call which sounds much like a musical whisper. He will also go around his partner with a raised tail to reiterate his interest. When the female responds positively, the pair mate within a few seconds. After mating, the female continues building the nest.

Only the primary male female couple is responsible for building nests for their young ones and for incubating the eggs. Other members of individual groups within a flock also visit the nest. They help to forage food, feed young ones, and warn off other birds in their group and flock territory from predators.

A female Mexican jay has an incubation period of under three weeks. The individual eggs are typically blue in color. They may also be a speckled brown or blue and green, like the eggs in Texas. In Arizona, the eggs have a distinct green tinge.

Once the eggs hatch, they are cared for by multiple members of their group. This system mimics the human family setup, where the offspring of a male or female remains with the parent and help to care for siblings.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of Mexican jay (Aphelocoma wollweberi) birds is Least Concern. Their population is stable which means no conservation is needed currently.

Mexican Jay Fun Facts

What does Mexican jay look like?

A Mexican jay looks like a more colorful variation of the humble crow, a similar species. These birds are characterized by their blue plumage with gray underparts. In fact, they were earlier called the gray breasted jay. They appear in the wild with a blue head and tail, brown eyes, and a dark, black bill. Young ones may begin with a more pale colored bill with a pinkish tinge, but the color turns gradually darker as they grow into adults. In fact, their black bill is a distinguishing character trait among similar jay species. Their long tail also takes on deeper hues with time. Finally, Mexican jays are small in size, comparable to the popular blue jay. Their visual traits have them looking similar to many other jay species. They may not always be easily identifiable, especially in photos.

The Mexican jay is an omnivore and thrives on a diet of acorns and pine nuts in its native home range.

How cute are they?

They are a mighty cute bird species due to their tiny size, musical voice, and family friendly nature.

How do they communicate?

These passerine songbirds are very vocal with their communication. They are characterized by their melodious calls, sounding much like a musical 'wheet'. Their mating calls sound almost like a whisper. In contrast, their alarm calls are more shrill in pitch and loud enough to get the attention of fellow members within their group. This is especially necessary to protect these small birds from larger birds of prey.

How big is a Mexican jay?

A Mexican jay is a small bird and weighs less than 5 oz (150 g). It is also 11-12 in (27–30 cm) in length, and is almost the same size as the famous American robin.

How fast can a Mexican jay fly?

All jays are considered decent fliers with a speed of 18-24 mph (30–40 kph). This speed can increase when they come across a bird of prey.

How much does a Mexican jay weigh?

A Mexican jay is a small songbird, weighing between 3-5 oz (100-150 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Both males and females in this bird species are called Mexican jays.

What would you call a baby Mexican jay?

A baby Mexican jay is called a nestling as they are nest bound, or a fledgling, as they are yet to fly.

What do they eat?

The Mexican jay (Aphelocoma wollweberi) birds are omnivores. They feed on a diet that is available in plenty in their North American and South American home range. This includes acorns, insects, nuts, plants, fruit seeds, and small reptiles. While not a main portion of their diet, they do eat eggs as well as nestlings of other birds.

Are they dangerous?

Mexican jays are not dangerous to humans.

Would they make a good pet?

In theory, these birds can make good pets. However, they thrive in their family habitat where a bird is surrounded by its offspring, which is hard to recreate in a home environment.

Did you know...

These jay Mexican songbirds are intentionally followed by northern flickers, small woodpecker like birds, especially in winter. As both bird species are vulnerable to larger birds of prey, northern flickers use the loud alarm calls of these jays to hide from predators.

Where is the Mexican jay native to?

As the name indicates, the Mexican jay is native to Mexico. Their home range includes a significant part of the Sierra Madre Occidental and Sierra Madre Oriental region. Today, these birds are also found in North America, in southeastern Arizona, and in the Big Bend region of Texas.

Do Mexican jays migrate?

Mexican jay (Aphelocoma wollweberi) birds are considered non-migratory in nature. They thrive in a natural habitat of oak woodlands in mountain regions, where their favored food is available in plenty in a large home range, spreading across several North and South American states and countries.

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 dusky hrush bird facts and Hepatic Tanager facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our flying blue jay coloring pages.

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