Family Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Least Concern

Curl-crested Jay (Cyanocorax cristatellus)


French: Geai à plumet German: Krauskopf-Blaurabe Spanish: Chara crestada

Corvus cristatellus


, 1823,

Ipanema, São Paulo, Brazil


Formerly placed in a monotypic genus, Uroleuca. Monotypic.


Brazil (S Pará, S Maranhão, S Piauí and W Bahia S to Mato Grosso do Sul and NE Paraná), extreme NE & CE Paraguay (Concepción and Canindeyú) and extreme E Bolivia (NE Santa Cruz).

Descriptive notes

35 cm; 178 g. Distinctive, with long, recurved black frontal crest; short nasal tuft. Forehead, crown and side of head are black, nape, side of neck, throat and breast sepia... read more


Repertoire resembles that of C. coeruleus. Farthest-carrying (at least 200 m) vocalization... read more


Dry forest of cerrado; also in riparian forest, forest edge and grassland areas with... read more

Food and feeding

Insects (47%), fruits (40%), nectar (12%) and small vertebrates (1%) recorded as food for four groups studied in C Brazil. Among fruits... read more


Breeds Sept–Mar in Brazil; observations suggest more than one nest per season in each group. Social breeder, with helpers. Nest cup-... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common. Home range of group estimated at 172 ha, territory per active nest c. 29 ha. Although cerrado is suffering drastic... read more

Recommended citation

dos Anjos, L. (2020). Curl-crested Jay (Cyanocorax cristatellus). 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 7 April 2020).