Communal breeding has been recorded in a number of New World corvids, mainly among North and Central American jays, but in only one South American species. In this note we present evidence that the Cayenne Jay (Cyanocorax cayanus) is also a communal breeder. Cayenne Jays occur in family-sized groups in forest habitat in southern Venezuela. More than two individuals have access to the nest and feed the nestlings. Members of one group participated in the defense of the nest by mobbing a preserved boa. These observations suggest that Cayenne Jays, like other species of Cyanocorax, form coherent social units and that helpers typically aid in the care of the young or potential young.
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Vol. 73 • No. 4