The White-Throated Magpie Jay

Large, loud and gregarious, the White-Throated Magpie Jay is a hard bird to miss.  Commonly spotted and often comfortable around people, it is perfectly content perching close to outdoor tables, waiting for an opportunity to steal a few stray crumbs or leftovers.  With its dapper blue and white outfit, remarkably long tail, and regal crest of curved feathers, it makes for a handsome dining companion.   And having evolved an impressive arsenal of more than 60 different vocal calls, it is rarely at a loss for words.  Highly social, these jays travel in flocks and raise their young cooperatively, a rare behavior among birds. Young females stay within the group into which they were born to help care for future offspring, leaving mom in little danger of coming down with empty nest syndrome.

Photo by Bruce Lyon

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