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White-throated Jay Cyanolyca mirabilis
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species has a very small and rapidly declining range and population, and is consequently classified as Vulnerable.

Taxonomic source(s)
AOU. 1998. Check-list of North American birds. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.
Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W.; Parker, T. A.; Moskovits, D. K. 1996. Neotropical birds: ecology and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

23-25 cm. Stunning, small jay. Slate-blue body, striking black head with white throat and supercilium extending down behind ear-coverts to give bridled effect. Voice Repeated two-syllable, slightly nasal yeeyip yeeyip. Also squeaky chirping and nasal reek alarm call.

Distribution and population
Cyanolyca mirabilis is locally fairly common to common in the Sierra Madre del Sur of Guerrero and Oaxaca, south-west Mexico. In Guerrero, it is common at Omiltemi, fairly common just north of Nueva Delhi and common between Nueva Delhi and Cerro Teotepec. In Oaxaca, it is known from only three localities in the Sierras de Miahautlán and de Yucuyacua, but there have been no records from San Andrés Chicahuaxtla since 1964 (A. T. Peterson and A. G. Navarro in litt. 1995).

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
No quantitative data are available for the calculation of population trends; however, the species is suspected to be declining rapidly in line with habitat degradation within its range.

It is largely restricted to undisturbed tracts of humid montane forest, favouring cloud (near Cerro Teotepec) (G. Spinks in litt. 1995), oak and pine-oak forests, but has been found in disturbed habitats. It occurs at elevations of 1,525-3,500 m in Guerrero and 2,000-2,600 m in Oaxaca, but there is very little suitable habitat below 1,800 m. It tends to forage in pairs or small groups, but sometimes joins mixed-species flocks in non-breeding season. Breeding has been recorded in April-August.

Many of the remaining forests within its range are under clearance for timber and large-scale agricultural expansion. Corn, fruit (notably citrus fruit in the Sierra de Miahautlán [Dinerstein et al. 1995]) and coffee cultivation is replacing lower montane forests, and logging is removing pine-oak forests (Navarro 1992). The continuing spread of West Nile virus is not thought to pose a serious threat, and no related mortality has been detected in this species (P. Escalante in litt. 2005).

Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in one protected area, the Omiltemi State Ecological Park in the Sierra de Atoyac.Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey suitable habitat in the Sierras de Miahautlán and de Yucuyacua. Extend the Omiltemi State Ecological Park over the mountains to the lowlands of the Sierra de Atoyac. Designate a protected area in the Sierra de Miahuatlán encompassing the range of this species (Hernández-Baños et al. 1995).

Collar, N. J.; Gonzaga, L. P.; Krabbe, N.; Madroño Nieto, A.; Naranjo, L. G.; Parker, T. A.; Wege, D. C. 1992. Threatened birds of the Americas: the ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.

Dinerstein, E.; Olson, D. M.; Graham, D. J.; Webster, A. L.; Primm, S. A.; Bookbinder, M. P.; Ledec, G. 1995. A conservation assesssment of the terrestrial ecoregions of Latin America and the Caribbean. World Bank, Washington, D.C.

Hernández-Baños, B. E.; Peterson, A. T.; Navarro-Sigüenza, A. G.; Escalante-Pliego, B. P. 1995. Bird faunas of the humid montane forests of Mesoamerica: biogeographic patterns and priorities for conservation. Bird Conservation International 5: 251-278.

Navarro S, A. G. 1992. Altitudinal distribution of birds in the Sierra Madre del Sur, Guerrero, Mexico. Condor 94: 29-39.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note, taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Recuento detallado de la especie tomado del libro Aves Amenazadas de las Americas, Libro Rojo de BirdLife International (BirdLife International 1992). Nota: la taxonomoía y la categoría de la Lista Roja de la UICN pudo haber cambiado desde esta publicación.

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Capper, D., Harding, M., Isherwood, I., Mahood, S., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J

Escalante, P., Navarro, A., Spinks, G.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Cyanolyca mirabilis. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Corvidae (Crows and jays)
Species name author Nelson, 1903
Population size 1500-7000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 3,700 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species