Family Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Least Concern

Purplish-backed Jay (Cyanocorax beecheii)


French: Geai à dos violet German: Indigoblaurabe Spanish: Chara de Beechey

Pica Beecheii


, 1829,

Montereale = Mazatlán, Sinaloa or San Blas, Nayarit, Mexico


See C. melanocyaneus. Monotypic.


Pacific coastal lowlands of NW Mexico from S Sonora (Álamos) S to N Nayarit (S to Sauta).

Descriptive notes

35–40 cm; 193 g. Head bulky, with stiffened, plush-like feathers extending from forehead and lores above and, to some extent, under eye, conspicuous only when erected.... read more


Seems to have limited vocal repertoire. Frequently utters a Corvus-like vocalization, a... read more


Lowland and foothill dry deciduous forests, especially secondary growth, from sea-level to 600 m;... read more

Food and feeding

Variety of invertebrates, including mosquitoes (Culicidae), winged termites (Isoptera) and ants (Formicidae), cockroaches (Blattodea),... read more


Laying recorded in first half May; one brood per year. Social breeder, occasional solitary nesting recorded (perhaps when low population... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in North-west Mexican Pacific Slope EBA. Fairly common, but local. Has low population density, flocks appear to... read more

Recommended citation

dos Anjos, L. (2020). Purplish-backed Jay (Cyanocorax beecheii). 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 28 January 2020).