Family Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Least Concern

Violaceous Jay (Cyanocorax violaceus)


French: Geai violacé German: Hyazinthblaurabe Spanish: Chara violácea

Cyanocorax violaceus

du Bus de Gisignies

, 1847,

Pebas, Río Marañón, Loreto, eastern Peru


Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. v. pallidus J. T. Zimmer & Phelps, Sr, 1944 – N Venezuela (coast of Anzoátegui).
  • C. v. violaceus du Bus de Gisignies, 1847 – SW & S Venezuela and SW Guyana S to E Colombia, E Ecuador, E Peru (S to Madre de Dios and Puno), N Bolivia (Pando and La Paz) and N Brazil (E to upper R Negro and lower R Purus).
  • Descriptive notes

    33–37 cm; 262 g. Slight frontal crest of erect but short nasal plumes and forehead feathers, and feathers of lores, malar region and eye stiffened; some have longer... read more


    Apparently has small vocal repertoire. Most frequent call a loud "jyeeeer!" or "... read more


    Tropical forest, open woodland, forest edge, and secondary growth. Reported as having preference... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects and fruits. Forages through middle and upper canopy; detailed study in Venezuela showed strong association with canopy (above 18 m... read more


    In Venezuela, one nest with eggs in early Apr in Orinoco basin and two large young observed in Jul in llanos. Lives in flocks... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to fairly common in much of range; uncommon to locally fairly common in Venezuela.

    Recommended citation

    dos Anjos, L. (2020). Violaceous Jay (Cyanocorax violaceus). 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 23 January 2020).