Guilherme Willrich


Geophagy is the intentional ingestion of soil or sediments by different animal species. In birds this behaviour has been widely reported in Psittacidae and Columbidae, but less so for other families, such as Corvidae. The goal of the present study was to review cases of soil ingestion by corvids and also report a new observation of geophagy in Azure Jay (Cyanocorax caeruleus). Geophagy was mentioned only for 11 of the 130 species of the familiy Corvidae, and there is a particular scarcity of reports for Neotropical species. On 26 August 2018 an adult individual of Azure Jay was observed removing and ingesting pieces of dry clay from a nest of Rufous Hornero (Furnarius rufus). Hypotheses about this behaviour include mineral supplementation and grinding of food.



Crows; Furnarius; Mineral supplementation; Neotropical jays; Soil ingestion.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4257/oeco.2020.2401.25


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