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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

15 Amaze-wing Facts About The Brown Jay For Kids

Brown jay facts are interesting

A jay is a large group of Old World and New World birds that are distributed all over the world, abundant in America but less in the UK. A brown jay (Psilorhinus morio), named after its coat color, is one of the New World jays that are commonly found throughout a wide range of Mexico and Central America in the south up to the Rio Grande in the north. The dark brown plumage of these North American birds forms a proper justification for their name.

Deforestation has helped the bird increase its population and further extend its range because they prefer open forests as their habitat. They were formerly distributed throughout the lowland habitat of dry forest edges in Costa Rica, Mexico. In 1970, they flew towards the north and began to nest in Texas. Although the population is very less there and they nest only up to the Rio Grande Valley in the north.

The brown jays are social with their own species. They live by forming small flocks. These flocks also consist of juveniles. However, with other species, they are extremely aggressive. Their population does not face any known major threat as of yet making them abundant in Mexico and Central America.

If you are interested to know more about these birds keep on reading these facts. For more relatable content, check out these willet facts and house wren facts for kids.

Brown Jay Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a brown jay?

A brown jay (Psilorhinus morio) is a type of bird.

What class of animal does a brown jay belong to?

A brown jay of Passeriformes order and Corvidae family belongs to the class Aves, the common class for all birds.

How many brown jays are there in the world?

The brown jays have a large nesting range throughout the central parts of North America. The global population concentrated in these regions is expected to be over two million mature individuals. The birds are also believed to follow a stable population trend. Deforestation has helped them gain more nesting areas on open lands and forest edges which affected their population positively.  

Where does a brown jay live?

The brown jay is an endemic species of Central America. Their range extends from Mexico in the south to the Rio Grande valley in the north located at the extreme southern tip of Texas. The birds mainly populate the eastern coast of America but sometimes they also extend to the Pacific coast. The population gradually spread to the south with its wide occurrence in Costa Rica in the ’60s. On the Pacific coast, these North American birds are found in Costa Rica, western Panama, and Nicaragua. On the eastern coast, their range extends to Belize and Guatemala. In the south, nesting sites are found throughout northeastern Mexico from Tamaulipas to Nuevo Leon.

What is a brown jay's habitat?

A brown jay prefers light growth and a well-distributed forest. In the south, the birds are mainly found in open forests, forest clearings, and edges. They avoid staying in the interiors of dense forests. On some occasions, the birds may be found in wooded areas with an open environment. Nest is built on trees or shrubs.  

Who do brown jays live with?

A brown jay lives in moderate to large flocks. These birds mostly make family flocks which generally consist of the breeding pairs and their young ones. An average flock of brown jay consists of 10 individuals but individuals might range from 5-24 birds. Sometimes various small flocks aggregate to make a single large flock mainly in the foraging grounds.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

How long does a brown jay live?

A brown jay is not common in captivity. For this reason, there is no information regarding its lifespan.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding nest of the bird is either built by the monogamous pair or with the help of other adult members of their group. The pairs mostly mate for life. The females are fed by the males before as a part of the courtship display. After rounds of flying in pairs from one branch to another, breeding takes place. The females are capable of producing two to three eggs in a clutch but larger clutches of up to eight eggs have been recorded. After an incubation period of 18-20 days, the chicks emerge from the eggs, and fledging takes place from the nest after 18-20 days.

What is their conservation status?

The species of blue jay is listed as a species of Least Concern in the IUCN Red List. Their large extent and wide areas of occurrence do not let the birds fall under the threshold of vulnerable species. Apart from that, they also have a large population and the population seems to stay stable in their nesting habitat. Their population is even believed to increase in some areas owing to logging and deforestation in the forest which increases the scope of their habitable lands.

Brown Jay Fun Facts

What do brown jays look like?

The brown jay species is divided into two types based on their plumage color. Unlike the blue feathers of blue jays, the northern jays have a dark brown plumage with light brown underparts while the population of the south is identified by their white belly. The adult birds have a black-colored bill and legs. The young bird is identified by its yellow bare parts. They also have a yellow eyering. They do not have a head crest like that of Steller's jay.

The brown jay is found in forest edges.

How cute are they?

The bird is an intelligent one that has sharp features. Their brown color does not attract people like other colorful jays but overall they look nice.

How do they communicate?

The brown jay communicates mainly by vocalization. They commonly produce 'pee-ah' sounds but can also communicate by making hiccup-like calls.

How big is a brown jay?

The length of a brown jay ranges between 15-17 in (38.1-43.2 cm). They are larger in size than the blue jays.

How fast can a brown jay fly?

The brown jay is inconspicuous in flight but its speed has not been determined.

How much does a brown jay weigh?

A brown jay weighs around 7 oz (198.4 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male and the female species are respectively referred to as cock and hen.

What would you call a baby brown jay?

A baby brown jay is called a chick.

What do they eat?

The diet of a brown jay consists of berries, seeds, fruits, and nectar. This omnivorous bird also preys on a large variety of insects, eggs, young birds, frogs, lizards, rodents, and spiders.

Are they predators?

A brown jay is a partial predator. Although this bird can feed on plant matters, they also feed on various animals like reptiles, invertebrates, and small mammals.

Would they make a good pet?

No, a brown jay does not make a good pet. They are better off in their groups with their families in the wild than as pets in a household. Boredom hits these birds faster than the other species.

Did you know...

The brown jay bird has a very unique body part called the furcular pouch which is absent in all other jays. This is a bald patch located under the breast feathers around the bird's neck. The patch can be filled with air and while deflating it, the bird can produce a deep resonating call.  

Some brown birds are house sparrows, American tree sparrows, Carolina wrens, cowbirds, house finches, and juncos.

How smart are brown jays?

The jays are some of the smartest birds. They have formed a functioning system of daycare among all the birds of its family called jay care. The elder sibling of the chicks helps the parents in taking care of the young birds after they emerge from the eggs. The birds of a flock help each other in the nourishment and protection of the young bird. Their smartness can also be perceived by their success in maintaining large territories. The loud calls and the big size scare away any other invasive species nearing their territory. The flocks defend their families and protect their territorial boundaries with the help of their loud calls.

Getting your own brown jay

The species of brown jay is highly energetic and it needs wide and open spaces to fly around and burn the energy. Their habitat in an enclosed land should imitate their natural nest conditions or else they become aggressive. The birds have an omnivorous diet so feeding them is not very tough. You can use any type of food like fruits, berries insects, and mice. This intelligent bird needs some brain exercise to get going otherwise it might get bored. So necessary arrangements should be made. However, the species of brown jay is not generally domesticated by humans because it is difficult to provide them a proper environment.  

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our swan goose facts and tricolored heron facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable brown jay coloring pages.

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