White-throated Magpie-Jay · Calocitta formosa · (Swainson, ). Order: PASSERIFORMES. Family: Corvidae (Crows, Jays). Genus: Calocitta. Species. The range of Calocitta formosa extends southward from Mexico through Central America. They are found in Mexico and the Central American countries of Costa. Calocitta formosa (Swainson, ). Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A., Fishpool, L.D.C., Boesman, P. and Kirwan, G.M.

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The range of Calocitta formosa extends southward from Mexico through Central America.

Calocitta formosa (White-throated Magpie-Jay)

White-throated magpie-jays are found along the Pacific Coast of Mexico rather than the Caribbean coastforkosa they prefer the drier climates found there. The Guanacaste Province of Costa Rica is home to particularly large populations of white-throated magpie-jays and many studies of this species have been conducted there.

White-throated magpie-jays primarily inhabit drier habitats, particularly vormosa forests. They are often found in areas calocitga mixed grassland and woodland. They also live in secondary forested areas, near areas under cultivation and along forest edges particularly pastures consisting of small strips of forests.

In addiction, white-throated magpie-jays are often found near clearings and areas of human dwellings and calocitt or near coffee plantations in Central America.

This may be due to decreased chance of predation near human settlements. Preferred habitats are generally flat, but these birds also live in hilly areas. Habitat elevation ranges from sea level to approximately m above sea level.

Most of the vegetation in the habitats of white-throated magpie-jays consists of thorny shrubs and trees, particularly Acacia trees, which are important for feeding in the drier season, and Acrocomina vinifera and Cresenctia alata trees that they use for nesting. Often they choose a relatively isolated tree in the middle of a clearing or pasture for nesting.

White-throated magpie-jays are large, brightly colored birds with long tails and crest feathers. Body weight typically ranges from and g and body length from 46 to 56 cm. Sexual dimorphism is calociyta in tail length, with females having much shorter tails to mm than males to mm. Most other male and female body measurements are similar. Wingspan typically ranges from mm to mm.

Tarsus length ranges from 39 to 46 mm and bill length from 29 to 34 mm. Madge and Burn, Adult white-throated magpie-jays formosw mostly white face and ventral coloration with rich blue dorsal feathers.

White-throated Magpie-Jay (Calocitta formosa) ·

Both sexes have a black ring that runs across their breast, beginning behind the eye. Males and females can be distiguished by coloration, with a thinner and often incomplete black ring in caoocitta. Males also have partially white crests and very little black coloration above the eye. In contrast, females tend to have almost entirely black crests, and much black or black-and-white mottled coloration above the eye. The auricular patch patch around the internal earis black in both sexes, but much more pronounced in females, caolcitta blending into the breast ring.


White-throated magpie-jays are cooperative breeders, with family members helping a breeding pair to care for and raise young. Ellis, a ; Ellis, b ; Langen and Vehrencamp, White-throated magpie-jays generally breed from January through April. In small groups, one female breeder is typically responsible for incubating all of the eggs, and rarely leaves the nest during this time.

Other females bring food to her throughout the incubation process. Males do not play an active role in reproduction, outside of the initial act of fertilizing the eggs. Young birds are fed in the nest by their mother and other helper females.

Females typically stay within the same natal area as they mature, whereas males generally leave the flock either to join cslocitta group or to move from group to group.

White-throated magpie-jays are likely to be relatively long-lived. While information on the lifespan of this particular ca,ocitta was not available, it is not uncommon for other species of corvids to live from 15 to 25 years. White-throated magpie-jays have a very large range in Central Caloccitta, covering vast areas of forests and ca,ocitta.

These birds have a complex social structure. White-throated magpie-jays are social birds, living in groups of five to ten. Social groups are comprised primarily of females, that actively defend their territories from other groups.

These groups are much more tolerant of males, and will allow “floater males” to associate with the group for an extended period of time.

Groups are focused primarily around the breeding female and her offspring, with other birds working as “helpers” to build nests, feed and raise young, and bring food to nesting females. These birds often forage as a group, with fledglings learning from older birds and often taking over foraging fkrmosa from their elders. This species is non-migratory, remaining in their territory throughout the year.

Average territory size ranges from 10 to 27 ha, with an average of approximately 18 ha based formksa studies conducted in Parque Nacional Santa Rosa in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. The home range size of “floater males” those that use or visit multiple territories each day tends to be much larger than that of a group. BirdLife International, ; Langen and Vehrencamp, White-throated magpie-jays are very vocal, with several different formmosa of calls.

Mobbing calls and predator alarms are similar: In general, the loudest and most vigorous mobbing calls have been noted when nests are approached. Both chicks and adults beg for food, making loud whining vocalizations to entice feeding. Females incubating a clutch will notably beg for up to several hours, and rarely forage during this time.

Other social calls include low “chirring”, usually produced caoocitta mating attempts and calocita nest-building.

Ellis, a ; Ellis, b ; Ellis, White-throated magpie-jays are omnivores, feeding primarily on caterpillars and various small fruits. Other food items include grasshoppers and katydidssmall lizards, frogs, nestlings of various small birds, and fruits from Acacia trees.

Acacia seeds require particular skill to consume, due to the protection of these trees by ant species. Other food items include various large fruits, arthropod egg masses and pupae, wasp nests, and spiders. Diet varies by season, with adult birds consuming mostly fruit during the wet and late wet season August-December ; mostly caterpillars during the early wet season May-Augustand a mixture of miscellaneous small fruit and acacia fruits during the dry season January-April.


Gray and Del Hoyo, ; Langen, b. White-throated magpie-jays protect themselves against predators through their social behavior, including mobbing behavior and alarm calls.

Raptor alarm calls are harsh and may vary in intensity given the threat at hand. Raptor alarm calls cause any white-throated magpie-jay nearby to dive for cover. More moderate alarms are called when a bird approaches or when other predators are observed.

These birds may even give alarm calls at the site of a car. They also give a loud alarm when a nest is approached by both humans and natural predators, which doubles as a mobbing call. White-throated magpie-jays primary ecosystem role is formisa seed dispersers. These birds frequently ingest various types of berries, fruits, and seeds. White-throated magpie-jays seem to have little influence on the human populations around them.

White-throated magpie-jays may draw the attention of avid bird watchers, researchers, or tourists and can be seen caloccitta studied in Costa Rica’s national parks. Ellis, b ; Langen, b ; Madge and Burn, ; Skutch, White-throated magpie-jays have little negative impact on humans. White-throated magpie-jays are found throughout a large range and have large population sizes, so they are evaluated as least concern by the IUCN.

This includes Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and all of the North American as far south as the highlands of central Mexico. In birds, naked and helpless after hatching. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.

Found in coastal areas between 30 and 40 degrees latitude, in areas with a Mediterranean climate. Vegetation is dominated by stands of dense, spiny shrubs with tough hard or waxy evergreen leaves. May be maintained by periodic fire. In South America it includes the scrub ecotone between forest and paramo. Ecotourism implies that there are existing programs that profit from the appreciation of natural areas or animals.

Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a now extinct synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does tormosa distinguish these possibilities. Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons or periodic condition changes. Reverse sex-biased philopatry in a cooperative bird: Molecular Ecology A test of sex-ratio biasing in the white-throated magpie-jay, a cooperative breeder with female helpers.

The Condor Accessed February 04, at http: Calocitta formosa white-throated magpie-jay ” On-line. Anti-Predator Signals as Advertisements: Evidence in White-Throated Magpie-Jays. Which call parameters signal threat to calocitha in white-throated magpie-jay mobbing calls?. Decay of apparent individual distinctiveness in the begging calls of adult female white-throated magpie-jays. Accessed February 20, at http: Signalling for food and sex? Begging by reproductive female white-throated magpie-jays.

Animal Behavior Handbook of the Birds of the World V. Cooperative breeding in the white-throated magpie-jay.