Family Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Least Concern

Black-collared Jay (Cyanolyca armillata)


French: Geai à collier German: Schwarzbandhäher Spanish: Chara collareja

Cyanocorax armillatus

G. R. Gray

, 1846,

no locality = Bogotá, Colombia


Forms a monophyletic group with C. turcosa and C. viridicyanus; all three formerly considered conspecific, but differ in morphology and probably voice. Hitherto treated as conspecific with C. quindiuna. Publication of species name probably delayed until Jan 1846#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. a. meridana (P. L. Sclater & Salvin, 1876) – NW Venezuela (Trujillo, Mérida and NW Táchira).
  • C. a. armillata (G. R. Gray, 1846) – E Andes of SW Venezuela and Colombia (Táchira S along R Chiquito to Cundinamarca).
  • Descriptive notes

    30–32 cm; c. 100 g. Slender and long-tailed jay that can appear all blackish in poor light. Nominate race has forehead, lores and sides of head black, forming a broad... read more


    Large vocal repertoire consisting of variety of short and often musical notes, including ‘... read more


    Humid, mossy cloudforest, at 1600–3200 m; frequent at forest edges.

    Food and feeding

    Poorly documented. Forages in pairs or small flocks in subcanopy and canopy, along branches with epiphytes, hopping along and pausing to... read more


    No information on nest and eggs. Seems to occur around Sept/Oct in E Andes of Colombia.



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Poorly known. Quite numerous in W Venezuela, but easily overlooked unless it is vocalizing; considered uncommon, even rare, in E... read more

    Recommended citation

    dos Anjos, L. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Black-collared Jay (Cyanolyca armillata). 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 May 2019).