Family Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Least Concern

Black-throated Magpie-jay (Cyanocorax colliei)


French: Geai à face noire German: Schwarzkehl-Elsternhäher Spanish: Urraca hermosa carinegra

Pica colliei


, 1829,

San Blas, Nayarit, Mexico


Sometimes separated in Calocitta, along with C. formosus. The two are often considered conspecific, and interbreed in Jalisco and Colima (birds with intermediate characters locally common). Monotypic.


NW Mexico from S Sonora and SW Chihuahua S through Sinaloa to Jalisco and Colima; several records in extreme W Michoacán#R; feral populations in extreme SW California, NW and S Baja California)#R#R.

Descriptive notes

58–77 cm; 225–251 g. Exceptionally long-tailed jay, long black feathers on forehead (almost 80 mm in length), sometimes tipped white or blue, form erect and... read more


Quite rich repertoire, not studied in detail. Scolding call a short and repeated "keu-keu-keu".... read more


Arid bushy country, thorn-forest, deciduous open woodland and riparian forest, from sea-level to... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds on invertebrates, berries and fruits. Forages at top of trees or in bushes, in more open areas; few other details. Forages in company... read more


Eggs recorded in Apr. Social nester. Nest a very bulky structure of twigs, lined with mosses, lichens and roots, placed in thorny tree.... read more


Resident. Occasional records in C Sonora; one individual, presumed vagrant, reach extreme S of USA... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Few data. Seems common to fairly common in its relatively small range. Forest fragmentation has had adverse effects locally on this species. Recently... read more

Recommended citation

dos Anjos, L. & de Juana, E. (2018). Black-throated Magpie-jay (Cyanocorax colliei). 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 18 March 2018).