Green Jay

Credit: Mike Carlo

Quick - how many medium-sized, green, wild birds have you seen flying around your neighborhood recently?

If your answer is zero, don't worry - they're even hard to find in a standard North American field guide. Except for hummingbirds, true green birds of any size are uncommon in the United States.

By far the most colorful of the North American jays, the green jay is often high on the list for beginning birders. As brightly colored as they are, these birds can be surprisingly hard to see in subtropical woodlands, their two-toned greens and yellows blending into the leafy tree canopies they inhabit.

Jays, crows and ravens are corvids, widely known as intelligent birds that live in most areas of the United States. The jays come in many colors, and can be common in many different habitats, from remote wilderness areas to backyard feeders.

Green Jay Data:

  • Size - similar to the more widespread blue jay and Western scrub jay
  • Range - extreme south Texas
  • Diet - mainly insects, also seeds, fruits and small vertebrates
  • U.S. habitat - dense and open woodland, brushy thickets, home territory for family unit averages 40 acres

See This Bird!

Although their U.S. range is quite limited, there are several National Wildlife Refuges where green jays are common. They often visit feeders in fall and winter, and feast on citrus fruits offered by refuge staff and volunteers. While nothing can be guaranteed in the world of bird watching, these Texas refuges offer good chances to observe and hear green jays:

Visit these refuge Web sites for more information, and consider calling ahead to plan the best time to see green jays.