Date: 7/27/20 10:42 pm
From: Larry McQueen <larmcqueen...>
Subject: [obol] my jays
It is a pleasure having year-round residents of two species of jays and observing their offspring learn the ropes in tandem. I was 20 when I left my home state of Pa. where we had no jays visiting feeders. One needed to go to the forest edge to find the Blue Jay, as they were very cautious and did not enter town. The attitude was that jays were nasty birds and so unwelcome. I hope today we are more enlightened. This message bespeaks to the value of acceptance, and, although It was not my intention to have 'attitudes’ as a subject, I must say that human attitudes matter and do affect the behavior of all sentient beings, and I might add, to the health of the Earth.

That said, the subject of this message really, is about two pairs of young jays - Scrub and Steller’s - of the same development- visiting my feeders many times each day yet avoiding conflict. These two species are having simultaneous molt sequence. Yesterday, each began head molting that gives them an unbecoming look. It is also interesting that through last winter at the feeders, there was a regular pair of adult Scrub and a pair of Steller’s Jays. These two pair gradually became scarce until they were absent. Then the four young of two species appeared, fully plumaged, but with bad haircuts. Especially the Scrubs - for about a month, their heads were scrawny. Now they look worse.

I think these four will be constant feeder-birds though the winter, and like their parents, absent themselves while nesting, but showing their young the place for food.

To return to Blue Jays. I visited my maternal relatives in Chicago as a youngster and I was struck by the rather tame Blue Jays in neighborhoods. In the city, no one shoots things (except people). They never looked at jays.


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