On my first trip into Mexico, hitching south on Mexico 85 from Laredo back in the 60s, I think the bird I most wanted to see was the Green Jay. I knew that jays were supposed to be blue, so the very name "Green Jay" struck me as heresy, and at that time in my life I was hungry for any heresy that came along. I vividly recall standing on the road with my backpack on, looking into a shadowy, weedy coffee plantation in the state of San Luis Potosi, just awestruck by my first spotting. Maybe that was the very moment I really got hooked on the tropics and its kinky way of throwing us Northerners for a loop.
Black bill, face, throat and chest, blue crown and nape, greenish blue tail with yellow outer feathers, bright yellow eyes, underparts and a truly green back and wings... That's what I saw this week in shadowy, weedy scrub along the road as a Green Jay again and again slammed a very fuzzy, white caterpillar onto a tree limb softening him up, while a second jay watched. When the watcher saw me she screamed a somewhat jaylike ahrrrrrrrrrr and the two flew into the shadows.
Green Jays are slightly smaller than Blue Jays. There are two main populations of them, one extending from southern Texas through Mexico to Honduras, and the other in South America, from Columbia to Bolivia. There must be a good story explaining why Green Jays are absent from Nicaragua to Panama, for good habitat for them is certainly available there