Friday, November 18, 2011

The Blue Jay Chronicles: An Addendum

“There’s more to a blue-jay than any other creature. … You may call a jay a bird. Well, so he is, in a measure—because he’s got feathers on him, and don’t belong to no church, perhaps; but otherwise he is just as much a human as you be.”
—from “Jim Baker’s Blue-Jay Yarn” in A Tramp Abroad, by Mark Twain

After reading up on Jays, I started putting out one of their favorite foods—raw peanuts in their shells. I hoped I was feeding Stubby in addition to The Trio, but I could never be sure. (Did you know that a Blue Jay can carry up to 5 acorns in his/her mouth and throat?)

Since the hawk incident, during which the juvenile Trio behaved like hooligans, the birds have flown under the radar. The week we had The Visitor was apparently a week of transformation in our yard and at the feeders, and we missed it. Once The Visitor left and we resumed our routine of nature-gazing out our front windows, we realized the mad industriousness of collecting and storing food for the winter had subsided. Even activity at our feeders had declined. Not only had The Trio departed, also absent was The Stubster—as well as dozens of sparrows and cardinals.

Then one morning I found Blue Jay feathers scattered under the feeder. I don’t know who made the attack, but my bet is on one of the many felines our neighbors allow to roam. I haven’t seen The Trio since.

Until yesterday! Of course, I don’t know if it’s the original members of The Trio or The Trio with a replacement, but it was great to hear them again in the backyard.

(The cat—or, rather, the cat’s person—is still on my grudge list, though.)

[Photo by J. Andrzej Wrotniak; art by Charlie Harper.]

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