Monday, July 14, 2008

Got the blues, fine feathered friend

We battle the endless line of blue jays, and on any given day our house will have between 8 to 12 of the screeching flashes of blue flying around.



This year we decided we'd be smart and put up only tube feeders for the birds. Being tired of the swing feeders getting cleaned out within a day by the blue jays....something had to be done. One determined blue jay adapted to eating from a small spot......or at least he tried.

After a few grosbeak attempted to eat, we relented and hung a swing feeder again, a small one. Our truly smart blue jay feeds from it and seems to always chase away the smaller birds. Even when this jay spins and spins he manages to empty the feeder with in three days.


We resorted to doing what he does best....chasing him off. It worked...somewhat.... he began getting a mouthful of seed and setting the seed on a branch that can be seen behind the feeder, returning to the feeder for more. We found the other jays pilfering his seed when he went back was turned! Poor guy.


This is what we found tonight when we returned from a ball game and I'm beginning to believe this jay is being flogged for his intelligence! This lovely, vibrant blue feather was found under the "Jay" tree and I'm convinced it came from our feeder fiend. I'll have to keep a closer look for this guy and perhaps put a house up for him/her.


Who can't help but go for the underbird. C & G Design.

9 comments:

tina said...

I thought the bold little guy was sitting on her head at first! Pretty feather!

Skeeter said...

Funny Tina!
I just had an experience with a Jay.
They were yelling to the high heavens with a snake in the yard first thing this morning. I emailed the Saint a picture of the slithering fella at work to fuss at him for not replacing the Crawl Space vents under the sunroom floor. We saw a snake just about like this one and it could be the same one, a couple of months or so ago and it went under the house through the rotted screen to the vent! The Saint promised he would replace the vent with a new one. He has replaced all but the sunroom vents last fall. He said those vents did not need to be replaced as they were fine! I dont think he had his glasses on when looking at the vents or he never looked at the vents. Argggg. Anyway, time has past and he still has not replaced the vents. So when he got the email, he called and was joking with me about it of course. Said we will go to Lowes for new vents after work today. Yep, I know we will….

He asked if I closed the vents. I did not know this type could be closed so I did not close them nor did I go near where the snake was so no… I went out to close them knowing the snake was long gone by now. I spotted a Blue Jay on its side with an open wing by the bird bath. I was thinking the cat next door may have been visiting. I went in for a closer look and the bird started to flap the wing. I was not sure how to deal with a broken winged bird and was becoming upset. As I got closer the bird flew off a bit looking fine. Then another Jay came near the birdbath as if to get a look at me. It was a baby Jay! The parent was faking an injury to allow the baby to survive the wrath of the big two legged monster, being me! I thought that was neat. I have never seen a young blue Jay before so that was exciting for me….

We have a suet pole we installed. It has three stationary suet cages on it and the Jays mostly stay on it instead of the other feeders. They can clean out a feeder in no time at all. We have a real problem with them in the spring then they move on but some stay for the year and are producing so keeping the suet cages filled is becoming an issue. The cages attract many different types of birds so we will continue to keep them filled. We use the No Melt suet but you can make your own cheaper to keep them happy.

Blue Jays store food in cracks of trees for a winter supply. I recently read that in a bird magazine. So the other Jays in your yard were stealing the winter stash!

Sorry so long here but ironic you posted on this topic...

Dawn said...

Hi guys,
This poor little jay, he/she is doing everyones work! He is also feeding the doves on the ground! We have a j-house, problem is it has to face north, I think on my new telephone pole....
Skeeter, no comment is to long, I enjoy all the stories. I believe jays are sooo smart and do alert for danger. How neat the parent was saving its baby by using itself! Jack of all trades saw our jay COVERED with mud one raining day. Apparently bathing. Quite the study, this one. He/she will also listen to us when the windows are open and we are talking. Legend has it, they had a beautiful voice but because of taking from others, Mother Nature took it and gave them the "theif" call.

Jean said...

Skeeter that is so neat. We used to have Killdeer every year but have not had them for a few years. Their have their babies in a hole in the ground so do a lot of walking around the nest. The little ones will also walk around the nest till they take of for greener pastures and the adult Killdeer are famous for playing the wounded game to keep you from the babies. It is so neat. I miss having them in our lawn. I bet the little Blue Jay is very cute.

Great pics and post Dawn. It sure is a pretty feather for a pretty girl!!

DP Nguyen said...

Oh~ What a pretty feather. I love bluejays. So very cool.

Skeeter said...

I have never heard of that before Dawn. I will have to remember that, the thief call. They do have some pretty sounds also but mostly they just scream around here! Always some predator in the woods I reckon...

I have spotted Killdeer here in landscaping in parking lots! Last year one was in Lowes parking lot. I kept noticing it when we would go into the parking lot. One day I did not see it so I went towards the area where I had seen a cup type hole in the ground. I had no idea the parent bird was near by but it started towards me screaming its head off! I quickly ran back to the car and the Saint was laughing at me! It was so funny. I have seen the Killdeer one time in that area this year but dont think it has nested. I fear it getting run over by a car or truck entering the parking lot as it is by the entrance to the place...

Snake number two was found by me tonight! A tiny 6 inch one in the garden! Cute little bugger. Hope it was eating bugs and not my big worms I have been finding....

Welcome back DP. Missed ya...

Dawn said...

Hi guys,
Welcome back dp, hope you had a great vacation!
Skeeter, our large city has a cove, reminds me of time square park, anyway, alot of killdear there. I saw on the news a group of people were trying to save them from the traffic, MAJOR thruway right next to them, the city rallied and adopted them, everyone looked out for them! I had never seen one until then. I realized most of the beach movies had these creatures on the shoreline and I thought they were running from the tide! Nope, just running!
Oh, your pics load much quicker than mine do! Gotta get a better camera. I insist thats the problem with my photos.

Skeeter said...

I have the picture mode set at the smallest setting. Dont ask me how to do it as the Saint takes care of that for me! LOL... I would be taking care of the killdeer too! Silly me getting out in a parking lot to check in on the one I saw. LOL...

Jean said...

Dawn, it is hard to believe you never saw the Killdeer here as we used to have several nests on the front and south side lawn for years. There used to be a lot down on the shore at the tak farm also. I would have thought you would have seen them there when you worked there. Some people think they are Sandpipers and vise versa.