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White-throated magpie-jay, Calocitta formosa
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Corvidae
Genus: Calocitta
G.R. Gray, 1841
Type species
Pica formosa
Swainson, 1827
  • Calocitta colliei
  • Calocitta formosa

The magpie-jays are a genus, Calocitta, of the family Corvidae (crow-like birds) native to the southern part of North America. Sometimes placed in the genus Cyanocorax. The two known species are known to form hybrids.

The genus was introduced in 1841 by the English zoologist George Robert Gray with the white-throated magpie-jay (Calocitta formosa) as the type species.[1][2] The name Calocitta combines the Ancient Greek kalos meaning "beautiful" and kitta meaning "jay".[3]


The genus contains two species.[4]

Genus CalocittaG.R. Gray, 1841 – two species
Common name Scientific name and subspecies Range Size and ecology IUCN status and estimated population
Black-throated magpie-jay

Calocitta colliei
(Vigors, 1829)
Mexico from southern Sonora south to Jalisco and northwestern Colima
Map of range
Size: 58.5 to 76.5 cm (23.0 to 30.1 in) long, more than half of which is the tail, and weight is 225–251 g (7.9–8.9 oz).[5]



White-throated magpie-jay

Calocitta formosa
(Swainson, 1827)
Southeastern Mexico, western Guatemala, and Costa Rica
Map of range
Size: 43 and 56 cm (17–22 in) in length and weighs 205 to 213 g (7.2–7.5 oz)[6]




  1. ^ Gray, George Robert (1841). A List of the Genera of Birds : with their Synonyma and an Indication of the Typical Species of Each Genus (2nd ed.). London: R. and J.E. Taylor. p. 50.
  2. ^ Mayr, Ernst; Greenway, James C. Jr, eds. (1962). Check-List of Birds of the World. Vol. 15. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 228.
  3. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 85. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  4. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (2020). "Crows, mudnesters, birds-of-paradise". IOC World Bird List Version 10.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  5. ^ "Black-Throated Magpie Jay Attraction | Central Florida Zoo Animals". Archived from the original on 2015-06-14. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
  6. ^ Marzluff, John (2009). "Family Corvidae (Crows)". In del Hoyo, Josep; Elliott, Andrew; Christie, David (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. p. 587. ISBN 978-84-96553-50-7.
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