Backyard Birds

Lidth’s Jays

The Lidth’s Jays (Garrulus lidthi) is slightly larger than its close relative the Eurasian Jay, with a proportionately stouter bill and a longer tail. It has no discernible crest, with the head feathers a velvety black, the shoulders and back a deep purplish blue, and all other parts a rich chestnut purple.

Distribution / Range

This jay has a very restricted distribution occurring only on the southern Japanese islands of Amami. shima and Tokunoshima in pine forests, sub-tropical woodland, and cultivated areas especially around villages. (Please refer to the below map.)

Diet / Feeding

Food is largely made up of the acorns of the native oak Quercus cuspidata but includes small reptiles and invertebrates (i.e., insects) of many types.

Nesting / Breeding

The Lidth’s Jay bird nests in large cavities in trees but otherwise the nest is the same as that of the other two Garrulus species with 3-4 eggs.

Calls / Vocalization

The voice is similar to that of the Eurasian Jay.


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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