Black-Throated Magpie-Jay

Calocitta colliei

This spectacular bird is native to Mexico from the Pacific Slopes east of Hermosillo, to Guadalajara and Colima. Near the border with Mexico in San Diego County, a free-ranging colony of these birds live in the Tijuana River Valley. We believe these birds are descendants of escaped captives from Tijuana that have established breeding territory along the border.

My intimate meetings with these birds have come while visiting the Bird and Butterfly Gardens on Hollister Road, but I once saw one during a BioBlitz event, flying high over Mission Trails Regional Park, 20 miles to the north.

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