|Family: Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
This sociable species nests in Mexican mountains north to oak woodlands of western Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. Flocks, of between 5 and 25 birds, may include a few or even several breeding pairs. Only pairs engage in nest-building, incubation, and brooding, but parents and all the other group members perform the other activities necessary to raise young, including alarm calling, mobbing, and feeding the young. Many unattached males also “help” by inseminating females; most nests contain young with differing fathers.
At any time of year, it’s very hard to find a single Mexican Jay. Their sociable squawking and warning calls seem to attract Northern Flickers in winter. The woodpeckers probably take advantage of those vocalizations to be alerted to predators. At least one Mexican Jay lived to be over 17 years old.