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Plush-crested Jays Hatched and Fledged
in the Aviary

Plush-crested jay
A plush-crested jay chick perched in a tree in the Herb and Nada Mahler Family Aviary.

Posted May 2021

The Milwaukee County Zoo is pleased to announce a trio of plush-crested jays hatched in the Herb and Nada Mahler Family Aviary on March 20 and fledged on April 28. This is the second clutch of chicks born to an established breeding pair in the Aviary. Their first clutch of four chicks were hatched in 2019. The pair has been doting parents to this new trio, just as they were to their first chicks two years ago.

Plush-crested jays
A trio of plush-crested jay chicks fledged on April 28.

These new chicks have a diet consisting of diced mice, mealworms, crickets and waxworms. Plush-crested jays can mimic the sounds and voices they hear. They are a very social and inquisitive species. Their zookeepers are constantly looking for new enrichment items (objects, scents, additions to their habitats, etc.) for them, which allow animals to display behaviors similar to what they would in the wild.

In the wild, plush-crested jays are found in central-southern South America. They are medium-sized birds with dark-blue plumage and a cream-colored breast. They often forage in groups of 10 to 12 birds. Plush-crested jays are members of the family Corvidae, which also includes blue jays and crows.