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Cyanocorax caeruleus

Cyanocorax caeruleus

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Cladus: Sarcopterygii
Cladus: Rhipidistia
Cladus: Tetrapodomorpha
Cladus: Eotetrapodiformes
Cladus: Elpistostegalia
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Cladus: Avemetatarsalia
Cladus: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauriformes
Cladus: Dracohors
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Eusaurischia
Cladus: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Cladus: Averostra
Cladus: Tetanurae
Cladus: Avetheropoda
Cladus: Coelurosauria
Cladus: Tyrannoraptora
Cladus: Maniraptoromorpha
Cladus: Maniraptoriformes
Cladus: Maniraptora
Cladus: Pennaraptora
Cladus: Paraves
Cladus: Eumaniraptora
Cladus: Avialae
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Euornithes
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Ornithurae
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Cladus: Neoaves
Cladus: Telluraves
Cladus: Australaves
Ordo: Passeriformes
Subordo: Passeri
Parvordo: Corvida
Superfamilia: Corvoidea

Familia: Corvidae
Genus: Cyanocorax
Species: Cyanocorax caeruleus

Cyanocorax caeruleus (Vieillot, 1818)
Vernacular names
Deutsch: Azurblaurabe
English: Azure jay
日本語: アオサンジャク
português: Gralha-azul
Nouveau Dictionnaire d'Histoire Naturelle Appliquée Aux Arts, principalement à l'Agriculture et à l'Economie rurale et domestique par une société de naturalistes et d'agriculteurs, avec des figures tirées des trois règnes de la nature. 26 p. 126

The azure jay (Cyanocorax caeruleus) (Brazilian Portuguese: Gralha-azul, meaning blue jackdaw) is a passeriform bird of the crow family, Corvidae. It is found in the Atlantic Forest, especially with Araucaria angustifolia, in south-eastern Brazil (São Paulo to Rio Grande do Sul), far eastern Paraguay and far north-eastern Argentina. It is the state bird of Paraná.


The azure jay has a total length of approximately 40 cm (16 in) and it weighs about 270 g (9.5 oz), and is the largest South American corvid. Its plumage is intensely blue with a contrasting black head and upper chest. Males and females are similar, although the females typically are smaller.

Its breeding season is from October to January. This bird is a social breeder. It lays 2–4 eggs and its nest is made of sticks. It is placed 10–20 m (33–66 ft) above the ground in an Araucaria tree.

It feeds extensively on the nut-like seeds of Araucaria angustifolia, but it is not strictly limited to this since it also feeds on insects and fruit. As other corvids, azure jays are highly intelligent. Their communication is complex, consisting of at least 14 distinct vocalizations. They form groups of 4 to 15 individuals that are well organized in hierarchies. These groups remain stable for up to two generations.
Folklore and culture

It is said that a black crow was on an araucaria tree, when it was scared by the sound of a man trying to take down the tree with an axe. Saddened by the destruction of its home, the crow flew to the sky, when it heard a voice saying that it would be painted with the color of the sky, and be guardian of the trees. And as a guardian of the araucaria trees, even guns would deny fire towards it.

This folklore is based mostly on the habit this bird has to bury araucaria seeds to consume later, helping the spread of the tree across the region, and being considered the greater disseminator of the species.

But above that, it shows the importance the araucaria tree, and the azure jay have to the people of Parana. It is the official symbol of the state (State Law n. 7957 of 1984), it gives name to the highest pize in theatrical arts of Parana (Azure Jay Trophy), and is the symbol of the soccer team Parana Clube.

It also inspired the comicbook superhero O Gralha (the Jay/The Crow), a superhero created by artists of Curitiba.
See also

Blue Crow


BirdLife International (2012). "Cyanocorax caeruleus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2013.

Cyanocorax caeruleus - azure jay specimen(s) in the ZMA

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