The Plush-crested Jays Captivating Blue Plumage and Plush Feather Crown

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Step into the enchanting world of the Plush-crested Jay, a bird adorned with striking features that defy convention. Its bright blue eyeliner and stylized sideburns accentuate its pale yellow and black attire, creating a sight that is truly remarkable.

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The plush-crested jay (Cyanocorax chrysops) is a medium-sized avian wonder, boasting a sleek black underbelly complemented by creamy-white to pale yellow underparts. Its distinctive velvet-like crest, transitioning from stiff feathers on the forehead to softer ones on the crown, adds an air of regality to its appearance. A luminous ultramarine crescent above its eyes, coupled with a cyan-blue malar stripe forming a V, further enhances its allure. Found primarily in central-southern South America, particularly in Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and northeastern Argentina, this bird graces forested habitats with its presence.

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Inhabiting a range of wooded areas, from lowland evergreen forests to temperate rainforests, the Plush-crested Jay is a versatile species. It can be observed at elevations of up to 1500 meters, occasionally venturing as high as 2800 meters in Bolivia. Its diet primarily consists of small invertebrates, with insects being a favored delicacy. However, it also indulges in fruits from various plant species, including Ficus, Phylodendrum, Casearia, Syagros, Psidium, and Rapanea. Nestlings and eggs of other bird species, frogs, seeds, and maize are also part of its culinary repertoire.
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Breeding season unveils the cooperative nature of these jays, with two to three young from previous seasons aiding in nesting duties and territorial defense. Nest construction involves crafting a cup-shaped structure from twigs, lined with smaller twigs and plant fibers, positioned 4 to 7 meters above ground amidst thick foliage. Clutches of 2 to 4 speckled eggs are carefully incubated for 18-20 days, with both parents tending to the nest and feeding the hatchlings. The fledglings emerge 22-24 days after hatching, ready to explore their lush surroundings.

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Despite facing threats from deforestation, the Plush-crested Jay demonstrates resilience by adapting to isolated forest patches ranging from 10-20 hectares, provided larger forests remain within reach. This adaptability offers hope for the continued survival of this charismatic species amidst changing landscapes.

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Encounter the Plush-crested Jay, a testament to nature’s creativity and resilience, and immerse yourself in the captivating beauty of its world.

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