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Mexican Jay

These birds are similar to Blue Jays, but they have different ranges.

With most of its range in its namesake country, the Mexican Jay reaches parts of the southwestern U.S. at the northern edge of its distribution. Highly social, Mexican Jays live in groups of up to two dozen birds. Several females in this group may pair up and nest simultaneously.

Acorns are an important food for Mexican Jays, and it has been noted that the jays are also important to oak trees by dispersing acorns uphill. Due to their social structure, Mexican Jays don’t typically breed until they reach an age of somewhere between three and 14. They have lived up to 20 years in the wild.


Description of the Mexican Jay


The Mexican Jay has a pale blue head and wings with a grayish back and whitish underparts.  Length: 12 in.  Wingspan: 20 in.

mexican jay

Photograph © Greg Lavaty.


Same as male.

Seasonal change in appearance



Juveniles have grayish heads.


Oak and pine-oak woodlands.


Acorns, seeds, and insects.


Forages on the ground or in trees.


Resident in parts of the southwestern U.S. and Mexico.

Fun Facts

Mexican Jays have very complex social organizations and live in groups of 5-25 birds.

Mexican Jays often mob predators such as hawks or owls.


A loud “week” call is given.


Mexican Jays will come to feeders for seeds.


Similar Species

Pinyon Jay
Pinyon Jays have blue underparts.

Western Scrub-Jay
Western Scrub-Jays have a white eyebrow.


The nest is a cup of twigs placed in a tree.

Number: 4-5.
Color: Pale green, sometimes with darker markings.

Incubation and fledging:
Young hatch at 18 days.
Young fledge (leave the nest) in 25-28 days after hatching but remain with the adults for some time.


Bent Life History of the Mexican Jay

Bent Life History information not currently available.

About the Author

Sam Crowe

Sam is the founder of He has been birding for over 30 years and has a world list of over 2000 species. He has served as treasurer of the Texas Ornithological Society, Sanctuary Chair of Dallas Audubon, Editor of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's "All About Birds" web site and as a contributing editor for Birding Business magazine. Many of his photographs and videos can be found on the site.

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