Backyard Birds

Lanceolated Jays or Black-headed Jays

The Lanceolated Jays or Black-headed Jay (Garrulus lanceolatus) occurs in eastern Afghanistan and the Himalayas across Nepal in wooded country with large areas of open ground rather than dense forest.

It also occurs in some cultivated areas and even near villages as long as there are enough trees and scrubland nearby.

Distribution / Range

It is roughly the same size as its close relative the Eurasian Jay, but a little more slender overall except for the bill which is slightly shorter and thicker.

The top of the head is black and it has a more obvious crest too and a longer tail.

Diet / Feeding


It feeds both on the ground and in trees, and takes virtually the same wide range of plant and animal foods as its close relative, including eggs and nestlings, as well as scraps near human habitation.

Breeding / Nesting

It nests in trees and suitable bushes and in this resembles the Eurasian jay in
every respect. There are usually 3-5 eggs incubated over 16 days. Both parents
feed the young.

Calls / Vocalizations

The voice is very similar to its close relative too and is most often a loud screech but with longer pauses between.

Jay InformationPhotos of Different Jay Species for Identification


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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