Date: 7/21/20 5:08 pm
From: Andy Thomas <dmarc-noreply...> (Redacted sender adt0611 for DMARC)
Subject: [obol] Steller's Tricksters
I was fooled twice today by Steller's Jays. While walking my dogs on a wooded trail I heard a Red-tailed Hawk-call above me. My first thought was Steller's because of the venue, but it was so loud and clear I started looking for a hawk. Sure enough, there were 2 STJAs in an understory tree nearby.

Then a little farther on I heard a woodpecker foraging directly above me -- loud, slow, irregular knocks. I leaned against a maple tree to steady my geezer-self while looking straight up. There were many possibilities, but by chance, the tree I was touching vibrated with the pecking, so I could narrow my search. I expected to find a Pileated Woodpecker, but what I saw was a Steller's Jay moving along a branch and pecking woodpecker-style.

I know about St Jay's Red-tail mimic call, but I've never heard of one "mimicking"  a woodpecker. (I know; it was not actually mimicking anything.) Is this common or usual foraging behavior for a Steller's Jay?
Andrew ThomasWest Linn

Join us on Facebook!