Friday, October 14, 2011

The Blue Jay Chronicles: A Tête-à-Tête

Blue Jays have been curiously absent from our feeders since Spring. Now they’re back. Our days are frequently interrupted by their piercing calls, and they appear to be juveniles—more gray and brown than blue, feathers sticking out in weird directions.

One afternoon as I hung laundry on the line outside, a Jay perched on the telephone wire above me, squawking. I watched and listened for a bit, then tried to mimic his call.

After a moment of silence between us, he bleated a distinctly new and louder call, over and over and over again. There was a panic in it, and the Jay took off—flying from tree to tree, crying out his message.

But what was he saying? More to the point, what had I said to incite his communiqués? I vowed to keep my mouth shut during future bird-watching.

[Art by Matte Stephens.]

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