Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Outdoors -- Blue Jays

Not a fan.  Flashy birds, but give me one nice mockingbird in his subtle gray with black edgings and buff on the wings, and keep your noisy cowardly blue jays.

We had a hiatus on blue jays.  They're related to crows and they about disappeared some years back due to West Nile Virus.  The jays came back first. 

Jays get caught up in the part.  I heard a jay mimic a hawk one time.  Yes, we have hawks.  The Red-Tail Hawks tend to stay out near the road where they can pick up mice and things.

On my block we have a gray hawk.  Some people think it's a Cooper's Hawk but those are declining.  It might be a Sharp-Shin, but I think it's a Broad-Wing.  Anyway it shows up from time to time chasing the mourning doves or trying to get starlings and sparrows.

Well, the jays pretend there's a hawk around and give their alarm but then they ruin it.  They keep giving the alarm.  Long after any hawk would have realized they've been spotted and leave.  The wiser birds only pay attention to the first call, then they go about their business.

Jays are big teases.  Probably the best thing that happened to the jays in the last three years, besides coming back and finding no competition, was when the new mockingbird showed up in late summer.  The jay pretends it's going to take over the winter food source that the mockingbird has staked a claim to, and the mockingbird chases it.

Today the jay dug something out of the ground that it decided was good to eat, but it was half the size of the jay's neck.  Took the bird about a quarter of an hour to decide that it was too big and then abandon it.  I have no idea what it was, maybe a peanut that a squirrel dropped.

Anyway it's going to be a lively winter with a new mockingbird and the hawk showing up once in a while.  If I could get a good look at its tail in flight, I would be able to tell what it is but all I tend to see is a profile or when it's lifting.  Looks fan-shaped to me. 

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

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