Bird Info

Brown Jay /chara papán (Cyanocorax morio)

Voice: This noisy jay is often heard before making appearances at feeders. The common call is a loud, raucous, “POW… POW… POW….,” similar to the call of Red-shouldered Hawk, but slightly higher in pitch.

Brown Jay
Status: Rare resident of a short stretch of Rio Grande corridor from about Salineño to the woodlands below Falcon Dam; locally uncommon at the feeders of Chapeno. The U.S. population may be only in the single digits; no more than four individuals were reported from Chapeño during the summer of 2003.

Habitat: In the U.S., Brown Jays are restricted to the dense woodlands along the Rio Grande from about Salineño to the woodlands below Falcon Dam.

Best Spots: The only recent spot to see these birds is at the El Rio RV Park feeders at Chapeno. Sporadically seen at the feeding stations near Salineno (and nearby Rio Grande woodlands), and the woodlands below Falcon Dam.

Similar Species: This jay is large, with brown upperparts and breast and white belly, is one of only two jays in range (the other being the strikingly patterned Green Jay). At a distance, it may be possible to confuse Brown Jay with a female Great-tailed Grackle, but for the most part it is unmistakable.

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All Bird call recordings © John C. Arvin.
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Welcome to a birder’s eye view of the seasons in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Enjoy our annual cycle! The resulting avifauna in deep South Texas is the most diverse north of the Mexican border. The four county area that makes up the lower Rio Grande Valley has recorded over 500 species of birds. This is more species of birds than have been recorded in all but two or three entire states. Small wonder that birders from across the continent make pilgrimages to the region. Happy Birding!

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