Eurasian jay

    Eurasian jay

    Garrulus glandarius

Castilian: Arrendajo

Catalan: Gaig

Gallego: Gaio

Euskera: Eskinosoa


Orden: Passeriformes

Family: Corvidae

Migratory status: Permanent resident


In the 2004 edition of the Red Book of Spanish Birds (Libro Rojo de las Aves de España) it is listed as “Not Evaluated”.

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Given its capacity to adapt, it is not threatened, but the alteration of its habitat due to fires and deforestation could affect it.

Length / size: 32-35 cm / 54-58 cm

Identification: Its plumage is a light brown and ochre colour and includes a black moustache and a whitish crown with black stripes. Its anal area and throat are whitish, and its wings are white and black but with a very specific detail: a wide turquoise band with black stripes.

Song: Normally rough call used as an alarm or arrival call, "kschaaach".

Diet: Its diet is variable depending on the time of year. In spring it primarily feeds on insects, and complements its diet with eggs and chicks of other birds. In autumn and winter it increases its consumption of fruits such as rosehips, chestnuts, and acorns which it usually buries in order to save for more unfavourable times.

Reproduction: The breeding period begins in April. Both parents build the nest, which is located in tree branches. The female incubates the eggs, but both sexes are responsible for feeding the chicks, which can continue even when the chicks know how to fly.


It is a completely forest-dwelling species that prefers beech groves, oak groves, and in general mature, well-conserved forests. It is easily observed coming to fruit trees to feed.


In Spain: Widely distributed throughout the north and common in mountainous areas. It avoids farming ares in the south and the Ebro and Guadalquivir Valleys.

In Castile and León: It is very rare in inland areas of the community, and is more abundant in the north and in the Cantabrian Mountains. The largest concentrations are located in León and Ávila.

Movements and migrations: It is a sedentary nesting species, although some populations from the east and north of Europe are partially migratory.


In Spain: There is an estimated population of 540000 to 1 million breeding pairs.

In Castile and León: