Family Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Least Concern

Unicolored Jay (Aphelocoma unicolor)


French: Geai unicolore German: Einfarbhäher Spanish: Chara unicolor

Cyanocorax unicolor

du Bus de Gisignies

, 1847,

le Méxique = San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico


Relationships with the A. coerulescens group and A. ultramarina yet to be resolved, as recent studies indicate that divergence of these three major lineages within the genus was apparently rapid, leading to conflict among genetic markers. Races considered to represent five separate subspecies groups by some authors#R, on basis of genetic study#R which estimated divergence times as sufficient for each to be treated as a full species; further research needed. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. u. concolor (Cassin, 1848) – E Mexico (E Hidalgo, WC Veracruz, México, Puebla).
  • A. u. guerrerensis Nelson, 1903 – SW Mexico (near Omiltemi, in WC Guerrero).
  • A. u. oaxacae Pitelka, 1946 – C highlands of Oaxaca, in S Mexico.
  • A. u. unicolor (du Bus de Gisignies, 1847) – S Mexico (around San Cristóbal de las Casas and E along Sierra Madre to Pico de Loro, in Chiapas) and Guatemala (E in Sierra de las Minas to Chilasco).
  • A. u. griscomi van Rossem, 1928 – N El Salvador, W & C Honduras (from Los Esesmiles and Mt Pucca E to Alto Contoral and Rancho Quemado) and, rare, extreme NC Nicaragua (Cerro Mogotón)#R.
  • Descriptive notes

    27–32 cm; male 119–153 g, female 113–136 g. A crestless, long-tailed, wholly blue jay of moderate size, with rather heavy hook-tipped bill. Nominate race is... read more


    Vocalizations known primarily from single population in Chiapas (nominate race). More than 40... read more


    Locally distributed in wet, mist-covered, tall, luxuriant tropical cloudforest (2135–3050 m)... read more

    Food and feeding

    Omnivorous. Eats berries of Rubus and other species, Myrica fruits, moths (Lepidoptera), katydids and crickets (... read more


    Nest-building from as early at 19 Jan in S Mexico (Chiapas). In five-month study of four partially ringed flocks in Lagunas de Montebello... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Relatively common in Guerrero, in S Mexico; nationally threatened in El Salvador. Fragmented and habitat-restricted distribution... read more

    Recommended citation

    Marzluff, J. (2020). Unicolored Jay (Aphelocoma unicolor). 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 19 February 2020).