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Title: Jay  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Corvidae, Steller's jay, Eurasian jay, Magpie, Cyanocorax
Collection: Corvidae, Jays
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Jays are several species of medium-sized, usually colorful and noisy, passerine birds in the crow family, Corvidae. The names jay and magpie are somewhat interchangeable, and the evolutionary relationships are rather complex. For example, the Eurasian magpie seems more closely related to the Eurasian jay than to the Oriental blue and green magpies, whereas the blue jay is not closely related to either.


  • Systematics and species 1
    • Old World ("brown") jays 1.1
    • Grey jays 1.2
    • American jays 1.3
  • In culture 2
    • Slang 2.1
  • See also 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Systematics and species

See classification box for relevant genera links. Traditionally, the crested jay (Platylophus galericulatus) is placed here, but apparently this is not correct, as suggested by anatomical and molecular evidence. Its placement remains unresolved; it does not seem to be a corvid at all. According to Ericson et al. (2005), jays are not a monophyletic group. Rather, they can be divided into an American and an Old World lineage (the latter including the ground jays and the piapiac), while the gray jays of the genus Perisoreus form a group of their own. The black magpie, formerly believed to be related to jays, is classified as a treepie.

Old World ("brown") jays

Grey jays

American jays

In culture


The word jay has an archaic meaning in American slang meaning a person who chatters impertinently.[1][3] The word also means a foolish or gullible person.[2]

The term

  • Jay videos on the Internet Bird Collection
  • Texts on Wikisource:
    • "Jay".  
    • "Jays".  
    • "Jay". The New Student's Reference Work. 1914. 
    • "Jay".  

External links

  • Ericson, Per G. P.; Jansén, Anna-Lee; Johansson, Ulf S. & Ekman, Jan (2005): Inter-generic relationships of the crows, jays, magpies and allied groups (Aves: Corvidae) based on nucleotide sequence data. Journal of Avian Biology 36: 222-234. PDF fulltext


  1. ^ "Jay". An overly talkative person; a chatterbox. 
  2. ^ "Jay". a foolish or gullible person 


See also

). (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)  

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