Thought to be a largely insectivorous bird, the dwarf jay is known to feed on weevils, bark beetles, crane flies and wasps, but it may also consume some plant fibre (8).
The dwarf jay forages in groups containing between four and ten individuals, often in a flock with other bird species. It is an agile bird and may be seen hanging upside down as it searches amongst vegetation for food. It also investigates tree stumps, searches under peeling bark, and will break open plant galls in search of hidden larvae, as well as pursuing slow flying insects (8).
In March, the male dwarf jay presents food to the female as part of the courtship ritual. Once a pair has formed, a tightly woven cup-shaped nest of mosses and lichen, lined with pine needles, is usually constructed in an oak tree at a height of about seven metres. The female dwarf jay typically lays two to three eggs, which are a pale greenish-blue, marked with olive spots. The eggs are incubated for around 20 days by the female alone, but the newborn chicks are fed by both parents (6).
It is thought that the grey-barred wren (Campylorhynchus megalopterus) and Steller’s jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) may prey on the eggs and chicks of the dwarf jay, and a sharp-shinned hawk (Accipiter striatus) has been observed attacking an adult dwarf jay (6).