12 June, 2008

Mean jays? Not quite.

Some folks don't like Jays. At all. I love them. Always have, in spite of their reputation.

I have learned quite a bit about the birds in my own yard this past month. I know the regulars, now. Jays have not been the most aggressive of the lot that live here. All the species have been co-operating pretty well, waiting in line for each other for their turn at the birdseed. However, these past two days have been different.
All the species have been very assertive with each other. Is it because it is getting hotter each day? Is it the strong winds that have not let up for about ten days that they're tiring of? I don't know, yet. But I do know that the jays have not been mean to the other birds. Not to the cardinal family, to the sparrow family, to the mocking bird, who has been a surprising loner. They have not been mean to the cowbird, to the grackles, the starlings, the woodpecker, the red finch couple, or to the handfuls of couples of mourning doves that feed voraciously here.

Much to my shock, the mourning dove have been the aggressors of late! I'll post a few photos of their impatience and selfishness soon. But first, I wanted to share with you a shot I have been trying to get for days. In fact, from my observations over the last month, I didn't think it would happen at all.

I've never seen the Jay parents keep close to each other like the cardinals or the dove.
But yesterday, it happened, allbeit very brief, and had I not been close, I would not have seen it. Two jays on the railing at the same time, side-by-side, even.

Quickly appeared, just a shadow in my peripheral vision. I turned to see them, they flitted off.
So my quest was on.

By chance, they stopped at the feeder just once today. I was there. But it was better than I thought it would be, for they were not mother and father, but mother and baby.

Among the other bird families I have noticed that the parents still continue to feed them after they have learned to fly, and even eat some on their own. This was true of Mother Jay and her growing nestling, as well.

I just didn't know it before.

I didn't notice it.

Perhaps they are too quick for the hurried and I don't notice. Thought I'd been watching closely enough.

Perhaps they are more skittish than the other species.

Not more aggressive.
In this season, anyway. Will share if I observe something different as the summer wears on.

Now this...This was a bonus shot...

I am content.

Thank you, Father, for this day.



Abiding said...

Great pictures! I am enjoying the birds in my yard, too, but everytime my little doggies sees them he chases them away. They don't stay gone long! :) ~Leslie

Anonymous said...

Your blue jay photos are fantastic! What a great blog entry.