Blue Jays nature’s beautiful bullies | News, Sports, Jobs

Blue Jays nature’s beautiful bullies | News, Sports, Jobs

Photographs by Jeff Tome
Blue Jays try to eat sumac berries, seeds and far more in the winter season months.

Like a baby, she is short and observant and simply just sees points that I pass up. She stopped lifeless in her tracks the other working day to stare at a bush with these ferocious intensity that I imagined the bush may possibly erupt out of the ground and assault. Instead, there was a Blue Jay quietly sitting down on a branch and staring at us.

Blue Jays are just one of those people birds that persons possibly like or despise. Lots of folks notify me that Blue Jays are bullies that chase the other birds absent or that they take in all their birdseed. Other individuals remark on the stunning blue of their feathers, on how they alert other birds of danger with their raucous calls, or how they constantly appear to be to journey in a tribe. So which is it? Are they gorgeous family oriented protectors or clannish birdseed mafia pushing other birds out to claim their share?

To response that dilemma, I delved into a guide by one particular of my preferred authors: John Eastman. His fowl guides consider a deep dive into the all-natural record and ecology of each individual hen. His info-dense area on Blue Jays in “Birds of Forest, Yard, & Thicket” usually takes up seven web pages. It also hedges the info a ton the Blue Jay section is liberally sprinkled with words like “probably”, “apparently” and “It appears that”.

Apparently, a person of the most recognizable birds in the location also has a whole lot about it that we really do not know for guaranteed. I get great gratification in recognizing that a hen several people today know has good quantities of details about it that we really do not know.

This Blue Jay is breaking off twigs from a tree to establish a nest.

Blue Jays are entire of delightful bizarre specifics. 1st, they are not blue. I know, my mind exploded a bit when I figured out that as well, but it is genuine. Blue Jays are not blue, but their feathers mirror blue light, so that they look blue. This might seem like a good position, but it is delightfully genuine. Cardinals are red for the reason that their feathers are pink, all the way by means of. Blue Jay feathers, when held up to the mild, simply glance dark. The feather colour changes in the mild, from time to time seeking shiny blue, from time to time just about gray. It depends on the gentle ranges.

Blue Jays do travel in teams through the winter, at times in significant flocks, in some cases in compact groups. Considering the fact that they are larger birds, they do appear to be to intimidate the smaller sized birds at the feeder. They stream into the birdfeeder and look to try to eat way extra than their fair share, gulping down seeds as fast as they can and flying away. Truthfully, they are not ingesting those people seeds. They are storing them in a throat pouch and traveling absent to disguise them for later.

Blue Jays empty their throat pouch and cache (cover) seeds all about to retrieve later. Very last calendar year, I put up a activity camera at Audubon to seize video clips of otters and beavers in a person of the freshwater springs. I got numerous movies of a Blue Jay hiding peanuts around the h2o alternatively. The jay would land on a mound sticking out of the h2o, force some grass out of the way, and conceal a peanut in a very little hole there just before masking the gap again up once more. Even though peanuts really don’t increase here, Blue Jays are known for hiding acorns significantly from the oak trees they arrived from. They are a single of the primary animals to plant oak forests, at the very least when they depart some of the acorns buried. They regenerate forests at a faster charge than squirrels or other animals.

Blue Jays are raucously loud in the winter season. They announce their presence at the feeder with a distinct “Jay, Jay, Jay” simply call. They also mimic hawks very effectively, at times saying the hawks’ presence by imitating the call in these a way that other birds hear it and fly away. At times, jays look to imitate a hawk to spook other birds from the foodstuff so they can have the feeder to by themselves. (Notice the use of the “seem to” in that last sentence, showing that experts are not completely confident.)

Blue Jays make a assortment of other noises: clicks, minor warbly calls and additional. My mom has a flock of Blue Jays at the rear of her dwelling that make a full bunch of distinctive noises. To this working day, she believe that, if I don’t know a hen get in touch with, I just simply call it a Blue Jay.

Blue Jays know the risk of hawks, like this Sharp-shinned Hawk, and typically imitate hawk phone calls when they see a hawk.

Blue Jays, raucous in the winter season, are silent in the summer time. They quietly locate a position to race a relatives, hiding the nest 10 – 20 ft up in a tree. They don’t make much sounds then, most likely (Be aware the iffy language yet again) not wanting to attract attention to their nest.

They have superior purpose to stay clear of drawing interest to nests. Blue Jays know that other birds, these as crows, will come and try to eat their eggs and younger if they are found. They know this due to the fact that is what they do to other birds. They complement their spring diet regime of nuts and seeds with the eggs and young of other birds. According to Eastman’s reserve, each Blue Jay in a forest costs the woodland 7 pairs of open up nesting birds, but probably provides two pairs of cavity nesting birds.

In shorter, there are plusses and minuses to possessing the Blue Jay mafia visit. On the superior facet, the enable improve and spread oak forests and provide as a danger warning system for other birds. On the negative facet, they gobble up foodstuff to take in later and try to eat the younger of other birds. Like most things, it’s up to you how you sense about them.

Audubon Community Mother nature Heart builds and nurtures connections concerning men and women and character. ACNC is situated just east of Route 62 concerning Warren and Jamestown. The trails are open up from dawn to dusk and birds of prey can be seen anytime the trails are open up. The Character Middle is open from 10 a.m. right up until 4:30 p.m. every day other than Sunday when it opens at 1 p.m. More details can be discovered online or by calling (716) 569-2345.


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