Family Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Least Concern

Black-chested Jay (Cyanocorax affinis)


French: Geai à poitrine noire German: Schwarzbrust-Blaurabe Spanish: Chara pechinegra

Cyanocorax affinis


, 1856,

“Bogota” [Colombia]


Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. a. zeledoni Ridgway, 1899 – extreme SE Costa Rica (Caribbean slope) and tropical and subtropical zones of Panama.
  • C. a. affinis Pelzeln, 1856 – N & NE Colombia (S to R San Juan and Huila) and NW Venezuela (Zulia, Táchira, Mérida, Trujillo, W Lara and Falcón).
  • Descriptive notes

    33–36 cm; 194–232 g. Feathers on forehead, together with nasal plumes, stiffened and forming short, more or less laterally compressed frontal crest. Male nominate... read more


    Repertoire quite varied, of harsh, squeaky and metallic short notes. Social call transcribed as "... read more


    Wide variety of seasonal forests (wet and dry), from sea-level to 2600 m, usually in foothills;... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet includes various fruits, berries, also invertebrates, also occasional small lizard or frog. Forages in flocks of 3–8 individuals... read more


    Recorded between Jan and May. Possibly a social breeder. Nest bulky, of sticks and twigs, lined with finer twigs and plant fibres, built... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Relatively uncommon to locally common in Venezuela and Colombia; rather local in Panama and Costa Rica.

    Recommended citation

    dos Anjos, L. (2019). Black-chested Jay (Cyanocorax affinis). 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 15 December 2019).