Family Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Near Threatened

Beautiful Jay (Cyanolyca pulchra)


French: Geai superbe German: Schmuckhäher Spanish: Chara hermosa

Cyanocitta pulchra


, 1876,

#R, Quito, Ecuador


Sister to C. cucullata. Monotypic.


Pacific slope of Andes from C Colombia (S of Chocó and Valle del Cauca) S to NW Ecuador (S to S Pichincha). Monotypic.

Descriptive notes

27 cm. Feathers of forehead and lores are short, dense and tufted. Male has forehead, lores and side of head black, crown and nape light sky-blue, whitish along upper border... read more


Quickly repeated mellow "chew-chew-chew" (grating call), loosely repeated, or given more... read more


Montane forest at 900–2300 m, mostly 1400–1800 m. Lives in mature humid subtropical... read more

Food and feeding

Poorly documented. Forages in understory, more so than do congeners. Forages singly and in pairs; hops, peers, and flies short distances.... read more


One nest was a cup of thin sticks with a lining of fine brown fibres, externally decorated with moss; placed at 2.5 m above the ground in a... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near-threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Chocó EBA. Uncommon and local in Colombia; rare to locally uncommon... read more

Recommended citation

dos Anjos, L. & de Juana, E. (2020). Beautiful Jay (Cyanolyca pulchra). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 24 February 2020).