Garrulus jays were first mentioned quite clearly (as κίττα, kitta = jay) in Aristotle‘s Natural History, in J.A. Smith and W.D. Ross (eds.), The Works of Aristotle, iv: Historia animalium, trans. D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1910), 615b22–23, where it is characterized by: ‘when acorns are getting scarce, it lays up a store of them in hiding.’
The Latin pica seems to have been used to describe both jay and magpie. According to Swiss naturalist Conrad Gessner (as Conradi Gesneri), in his Historiæ animalium (Francofurdi: Ex officina typographica Ioannis Wecheli, 1585), iii. (first publ. 1555), jays were closely related to magpies: ‘Sed pica glandaria alterum picae genus est’ = ‘Jay is a variety of magpie’. In a later work of bird plates, Icones avium omnium (Tiguri: C. Froschovurus, 1560), 26, 28, jay receives the Latin epithet Pica glandaria = Acorn-producing Magpie, from Latin pica = magpie, jay, Latin glans = acorn, and Latin -aria = feminine adjectival suffix, whereas magpie becomes Pica varia vel caudata = Long-tailed Pied Magpie, from Latin pica = magpie, jay, Latin varia = varied, Latin vel = with, and Latin caudata = tail.
As of 2019, the IOC World Bird List recognizes three species of Garrulus Jay, two of which are monotypic, Black-headed Jay and Lidth’s Jay, and one is the highly varied, widespread, polytypic Eurasian Jay. The Handbook of Birds of the World, however, classifies a number of subspecies as full species, thus listing Plain-crowned Jay and White-faced Jay at the species level.
Eurasian Jay – Garrulus glandarius = Acorn-producing Jay – from Latin glans = acorn, and Latin -arius = masculine adjectival suffix modifying the noun acorn into an active qualifier – described by Carl Linnaeus (as Caroli Linnæi) in Systema naturæ (10th edn., Holmiæ: Laurentii Salvii, 1758), i. 106, as Corvus glandarius.
Currently 34 subspecies of Eurasian Jay are recognized:
- G. g. hibernicus = Irish Jay – for Ireland, from Latin Hibernia = Ireland, with -cus = masculine adjectival suffix – described by English ornithologist Harry Forbes Witherby and German ornithologist Ernst Hartert in ‘The Irish Jay’, British Birds, 4/8 (1911), 234–235 – range: Ireland;
- G. g. rufitergum = Rufous-backed Jay – from latin rufus = rufous, and Latin tergum = back – described by German ornithologist Ernst Hartert in Die Vögel der paläarktischen Fauna (Berlin: Friedländer, 1903), 30 – range: Scotland, England, Wales, north-west France;
- G. g. glandarius – nominate form – ascribed to Linneaus for his description of the protonym Corvus glandarius, above – range: north and central Europe to Ural Mountains;
- G. g. fasciatus = Banded Jay – from Latin fascia = band, stripe, and Latin -tus = masculine adjectival suffix – described by Alfred Brehm in ‘Vorläufige Zusammenstellung der Vögel Spaniens’, Allgemeine Deutsche Naturhistorische Zeitung, NF 3 (1857), 446 – range: Iberian peninsula;
- G. g. corsicanus = Corsican Jay – for Corsica, with Latin -nus = masculine adjectival suffix – described by German ornithologist Alfred Laubmann in ‘Zwei neue paläarktische Formen’, Verhandlungen der Ornithologischen Gesellschaft in Bayern, 11/1 (1912), 164 – range: Corsica;
- G. g. ichnusae = Sardinian Jay – for Sardinia, from Latin Ichnusa = Sardinia – described briefly by German ornithologist Otto Kleinschmidt in ‘Neue Formen von Sardinien’, Ornithologische Monatsberichte, 11/6 (1903), 92, as Garrulus ichnusae – range: Sardinia;
- G. g. albipectus = White-breasted Jay – from Latin albus = white, and Latin pectus = breast – described by German ornithologist Otto Kleinschmidt in ‘Eine überraschende neue Häherform’, Falco, 16/4 (1920), 28, as Garrulus albipectus – range: Italy, Sicily, Dalmatian coast;
- G. g. graecus = Greek Jay – for Greece, from Latin Graecia = Greece, with -cus = masculine adjectival suffix – described by András Keve-Kleiner (as Andrew Kleiner, see note) in ‘A new Jay from the Balkans’, Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club, 59/419 (1939), 71 – range: west Balkans, incl. Greece;
- G. g. ferdinandi = Ferdinand’s Jay – for Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (Prince and Tsar Ferdinand I of Bulgaria), with Latin -i = genitive masculine suffix – described by András Keve-Kleiner (as Andreas Keve-Kleiner, see note) in ‘Ein neuer Eichelhäher aus Südost Bulgarien: Garrulus glandarius ferdinandi ssp. n.’, Aquila, 50 (1943), 369–370 – range: east Bulgaria and north Turkey;
- G. g. cretorum = Cretan Jay – for Crete, with Latin -orum = genitive masculine suffix – described by English ornithologist Richard Meinertzhagen in Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club, 41/253 (1920), 19–20 – range: Crete;
- G. g. glaszneri = Glaszner’s Jay – for Hungarian ornithologist Káròly Glaszner, with Latin -i = genitive masculine suffix – described by Gyula Madarász (as Julius von Madarász) in ‘Der cyprische Heher (Garrulus glaszneri n. sp.)’, Ornithologische Monatsberichte, 10/10 (1902), 163, as Garrulus glaszneri [sic] – range: Cyprus;
- G. g. whitakeri = Whitaker’s Jay – for Sicilian-English ornithologist Joseph Whitaker, with Latin -i = genitive masculine suffix – described by German ornithologist Ernst Hartert in Die Vögel der paläarktischen Fauna (Berlin: Friedländer, 1903), 33 – range: north Morocco and north-west Algeria;
- G. g. minor = Smaller Jay – from Latin minor = smaller – described by French ornithologist Jules Verreaux in Revue et magasin de zoologie pure et appliquée, 2nd ser. 9 (1857) 439–441, as Garrulus minor – range: central Morocco and the Atlas Mountains of north Algeria;
- G. g. cervicalis Cervical Jay – from Latin cervix = neck, and Latin -alis = masculine adjectival suffix – described by French ornithologist Charles Lucien Bonaparte (as S.A. Charles–L. prince Bonaparte) in ‘Notes sur les collections de M.A. Delattre‘, Comptes rendus hebdomadaires des séances de l’Académie des sciences, 37/23 (1853), 828, as Garrulus cervicalis – range: north and north-east Algeria and Tunisia;
- G. g. samios = Samos Jay – from Latin samios = of Samos – described by Hungarian ornithologist András Keve-Kleiner (as Andreas Kleiner, see note) in ‘Ergänzung zur systematischen Revision des Eichelhähers’, Aquila, 42–45 (1939), 545, 548–549 – range: Samos (south-east Aegean Sea);
- G. g. anatoliae = Anatolian Jay – for Anatolia, from Greek ανατολιος, anatolios = eastern (i.e. Anatolia, Asia Minor) – described briefly by English ornithologist Henry Seebohm in A History of British Birds (London: R.H. Porter, 1883), i. 570, as Garrulus anatoliæ – range: west Turkey to west Iran and north Iraq;
- G. g. iphigenia = Iphigenia’s Jay – for Iphigenia, Greek mythological daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra – described by Russian ornithologist Petr Sushin and Ukranian naturalist Jevgenij Ptuschenko in Ornithologische Monatsberichte, 22/1 (1914), 4–5 – range: Crimean Peninsula;
- G. g. krynicki = Krynicki’s Jay – for Russian zoologist Johann Krynicki (Ivan Andreïevitch Krinitski) – decribed by Jean de Kaleniczenko in “Series animalum, a defuncto Professore Joan. Krynicki’, Bulletin de la Société impériale des naturalistes de Moscou, 12/2 (1839), 217–218, as Garrulus krynicki – range: north-east Turkey, Caucasus;
- G. g. atricapillus = Black-crowned Jay – from Latin ater = black, and Latin capillus = hair of the head – described by French zoologist Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire in Etudes Zoologiques (Paris: Lequien, 1832), i. pl. 3, as Garrulus atricapillus – range: west Syria, west Jordan, Israel;
- G. g. hyrcanus = Hyrcanian Jay – for Hyrcania, from Latin hyrcanus = Hyrcania – described by William Thomas Blanford in ‘Descriptions of a new Jay and a new Woodpecker from Persia’, Ibis, 3rd ser. 3/10 (1873), 225–226, as Garrulus hyrcanus – range: south-east Azerbaijan, north Iran;
- G. g. brandtii = Brandt’s Jay – for Johann Friedrich von Brandt, and Latin -ii = genitive masculine adjectival suffix – described by Eduard Friedrich Eversmann (as Eduardo Eversmann) in Addenda ad celeberrimi pallasii zoographiam rosso-asiaticam, ed. H.E. Dresser (London: Dresser, 1876) iii. 8–9 (first publ. 1842), as Garrulus brandtii – range: south Siberia, north Mongolia, north-west and north-east China, Korea, north Japan;
- G. g. kansuensis = Gansu Jay – for Gansu Province, and Latin -ensis = adjectival geographical suffix – described by German ornithologist Erwin Stresemann in ‘Neue Formen aus Nord-Kansu II’, Ornithologische Monatsberichte, 36/2 (1928), 41 – range: central China;
- G. g. pekingensis = Beijing Jay – for Beijing, and Latin -ensis = adjectival geographical suffix – described briefly in ‘Bericht über die Januarsitzung 1905’, Journal für Ornithologie, 53/2 (1905), 225, as Garrulus bispecularis pekingensis – east China;
- G. g. japonicus = Japanese Jay – for Japan, and Latin -icus = belonging to, pertaining to – decribed by Dutch ornithologist Coenraad Jacob Temminck and German ornithologist Hermann Schlegel in Ph.Fr. de Siebold [sic], C.J. Temmink, H. Schlegel and W. de Haan, Fauna japonica (Lugduni Batavorum: Apud Arnz, 1850), iv. 83–84, pl. 43 (plate first publ. 1847) – Siebold had commissioned the text of the Fauna japonica to scientists of the Dutch National Museum of Natural History, it would appear in instalments between 1833 and 1855, Temminck and Schlegel wrote the sections about birds, hence their authorship of this subspecies – range: Honshu, Oshima and Kyushu (central, south Japan);
- G. g. tokugawae = Tokugawa’s Jay – for Ieyasu Tokugawa, and Latin -e = vocative masculine adjectival suffix – described by Japanese ornithologist Nobusuke Taka-Tsukasa in ‘A new form of Jay from Sado Island’, Tori, 7/32 (1931) 110 – range: Sado Island (off Honshu in central Japan);
- G. g. orii = Orii’s Jay – for Japanese bird collector Hyojiro Orii – presented to the 271st meeting of the British Ornithologists’ Club, 10 January 1923, by Nagamichi Kuroda, description published in Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club, 43/275 (1923), 86–87 – range: Yakushima (south Japan);
- G. g. sinensis = Chinese Jay – for China, from Latin Sina = China, and Latin -ensis = topographical adjectival suffix (-of a place) – decribed briefly by English biologist Robert Swinhoe in ‘A revised catalogue of the birds of China and its islands, with descriptions of new species, references to former notes, and occasional remarks’, Proceedings of the Scientific Meetings of the Zoological Society of London, 1871, 381, as Garrulus sinensis – range: north Myanmar, south and east China;
- G. g. taivanus = Taiwanese Jay – for Taiwan, from Latin Taivania = Taiwan, and Latin -us = adjectival suffix – described by English ornithologist (a href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Gould”>John Gould in ‘Descriptions of sixteen new species of birds from the island of Formosa, collected by Robert Swinhoe, Esq., Her Majesty’s Vice-Consul at Formosa’, Proceedings of the Scientific Meetings of the Zoological Society of London, 1862/3 (1863), 282, as Garrulus taïvanus – range: Taiwan;
- G. g. bispecularis = Two-mirrored Jay – from Latin bi- = prefix (twice-, double-), Latin speculum = mirror, speculum, and Latin -aris = adjectival suffix (belonging to, pertaining to) – exhibited at a committee meeting of the Zoological Society of London, 23 November 1830, by Irish zoologist Nicholas Aylward Vigors, description published in Proceedings of the Committee of Science and Correspondence of the Zoological Society of London, 1 (1831), 7 (the Table of Contents lists the description as part of ‘Observations on a collection of birds from the Himalayan mountains, with characters of new genera and species’), as Garrulus bispecularis – HBW considers this a split from Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius, incl. subspecies – range: west Himalayas to west Nepal;
- G. g. interstinctus = Variegated Jay – from Latin interstinguere = to mark off (with spots, speckles), and Latin -tus = adjectival suffix (provided with) – described by German ornithologist Ernst Hartert in ‘Garrulus bispecularis and its allies, with list of all forms of Garrulus‘, Novitates zoologicae, 25/2 (1918), 430, as Garrulus bispecularis interstinctus – range: east Himalayas;
- G. g. persaturatus = Very Richly Coloured Jay – from Latin prefix per- = very, and Latin saturatus = richly coloured – described by German ornithologist Ernst Hartert in ‘Garrulus bispecularis and its allies, with list of all forms of Garrulus‘, Novitates zoologicae, 25/2 (1918), 430, as Garrulus bispecularis persaturatus – range: north-east India (south Assam);
- G. g. oatesi = Oates’ Jay – for English naturalist Eugene W. Oates, and Latin -i = genitive masculine suffix – a brief description was sent to the 35th meeting of the British Ornithologists’ Club, 20 May 1836, by English ornithologist Richard Bowdler Sharpe, and published in Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club, 5/36 (1896), 44, as Garrulus oatesi – range: north-west Myanmar;
- G. g. haringtoni = Harington’s Jay – for British ornithologist Herbert Hastings Harington, and Latin -i = genitive masculine suffix – exhibited by English ornithologist Richard Bowdler Sharpe at the 116th meeting of the British Ornithologists’ Club, 28 June 1905, on behalf of Robert H.F. Rippon, who submitted the description to Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club, 15/117 (1905), 97, as Garrulus haringtoni – range: west Myanmar;
- G. g. leucotis = White-eared Jay – from Greek λευκος, leukos = white, and Greek -ωτις, -ōtis = -eared – English ornithologist Allan Octavian Hume is the author of this subspecies though it is unclear which publication carried the first description, as Garrulus leucotis, either Stray Feathers, 2/4 (1874), 443–444, or ‘New species of birds exhibited and characterized by A.O. Hume, C.B.’, Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1874/5 (1874), 106 – in Stray Feathers Hume states that he read a brief description at a 1 May 1874 meeting of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal states that ‘Mr. Ball’ exhibited and read the description on Hume’s behalf – HBW considers this a split from Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius – range: central Myanmar to central and south Indochina.
Further, the two monotypic species:
Black-headed Jay – Garrulus lanceolatus = Lanceolated Jay – from Latin lancea = lance, and Latin -atus = adjectival suffix (indicating possession) – exhibited at a committee meeting of the Zoological Society of London, 23 November 1830, by Irish zoologist Nicholas Aylward Vigors, description published in Proceedings of the Committee of Science and Correspondence of the Zoological Society of London, 1 (1831), 7 (the Table of Contents lists the description as part of ‘Observations on a collection of birds from the Himalayan mountains, with characters of new genera and species’) – range: east Afghanistan and north Pakistan to west Tibet, Nepal and north India.
Lidth’s Jay – Garrulus lidthi = for Dutch zoologist Theodoor Gerard van Lidth de Jeude, and Latin -i = genitive masculine suffix – described by French ornithologist Charles Lucien Bonaparte (as Carolo Luciano Bonaparte) in Conspectus generum avium (Lugduni Batavorum: Brill, 1850) i. 376 – HBW lists this species as Amami Jay, for Amami Islands – range: Ryukyu Islands.