Family Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Least Concern

Siberian Jay (Perisoreus infaustus)


French: Mésangeai imitateur German: Unglückshäher Spanish: Arrendajo siberiano

Corvus infaustus


, 1758,

Europae alpinis sylvis = Sweden


Geographical variation complex, with clines in colour tones, greyest in C Siberia and becoming more rufous towards W and again towards E, but tones and extent of rufous in wing vary also from S to N; further, clinal intergradation has created much taxonomic confusion in terms of number of races that should be recognized, various reviews allowing as many as 17 or as few as 4–5#R. Conservative assessment suggests that manteufeli (upper R Severnya Dvina, in NW Russia) be included in nominate; monjerensis (lower R Yenisey to Olenek Basin, in C Siberia) in rogosowi; bungei (NC Siberia between lower R Lena and lower R Kolyma) and sokolnikowi (NE Siberia) in yakutensis; suschkini (Transbaikalia, Russia) in sibericus; varnak (NE China and middle R Amur, in SE Russia) in tkachenkoi; and sakhalinensis (Sakhalin) in maritimus. Name rogosowi appears to have been selected over simultaneously named ostjakorum by First Revisers#R. Nine subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. i. infaustus (Linnaeus, 1758) – Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and NW Russia.
  • P. i. rogosowi Sushkin & Stegmann, 1929 – N Russia E (S to 64° N) to W R Lena Basin.
  • P. i. yakutensis Buturlin, 1916 – C & E Russia (Siberia from R Yenisey E to Anadyrland).
  • P. i. ruthenus Buturlin, 1916 – W Russia (from St Petersburg E to Tomsk, S of rogosowi).
  • P. i. sibericus (Boddaert, 1783) – C Russia (C Siberia) and N Mongolia.
  • P. i. tkachenkoi Sushkin & Stegmann, 1929 – E part of SC Russia (Yakutsk S to Zhigansk, on R Lena, E to middle Amur and Stanovoy Mts).
  • P. i. opicus Bangs, 1913 – E Kazakhstan, NW China (N Xinjiang), SC Russia (Tuva, W & C Altai and W Sayans).
  • P. i. caudatus Buturlin, 1913 – NC Mongolia and CS Russia (S Buryatia).
  • P. i. maritimus Buturlin, 1915 – E Russia (Amurland, Ussuriland), NE China (NE Heilongjiang) and Sakhalin.
  • Descriptive notes

    25–31 cm; 72–101 g. A drab brownish or greyish, relatively long-tailed forest jay with some rufous in tail and wing; bill short and small, with straight culmen... read more


    Vocabulary quite varied, but all vocalizations rather subdued. Song an insignificant twittering and... read more


    Boreal forest (taiga zone); favours dense closed-canopy, mature forest of spruce (Picea),... read more

    Food and feeding

    Omnivorous. Diet includes berries, seeds, various insects and their larvae, notably beetles (Coleoptera) and moths (Lepidoptera), and wide... read more


    Breeds late Mar to May. Monogamous, with lifelong pair-bond. Solitary nester, but additional bird sometimes present with pair and may help... read more


    Sedentary over most of range. In W, rarely moves S in winter as far as St Petersburg and Moscow... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to abundant; unobtrusive habits no doubt give false impression of scarcity, but this species, with a range extending across entire length of... read more

    Recommended citation

    Madge, S. (2020). Siberian Jay (Perisoreus infaustus). 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 February 2020).