Posts Tagged ‘Steller’s Jays’

Bird Cages

September 20, 2010

After another week in the mountains, we bought the jays a new platform feeder. Coming to the top of the car just did not suit their independent nature. The tray feeder was eventually accepted, but not until Oregon Juncos and White-breasted Nuthatches did the reconnaissance work. Here is one of the jays, checking things out from a nearby tree.

Spending a little time watching them reminded us of the words of Isak Dinesen (pen name of Karen Blixen).  She wrote,

If only I could so live and so serve the world that after me there should never again be birds in cages.

Jays, Peanuts, and Independence

September 6, 2010

I’m on a porch in the mountains. As I write this, a White-breasted Nuthatch pecks at the small bird feeder directly in front of me.  At my feet an Oregon Junco hops around, impertinently ignoring the dogs who likewise ignore her. Soon, she’s replaced with a Pine Siskin who also ignores the dogs. Dwindling numbers of hummingbirds who haven’t departed for the south are contesting for primary rights to each of three feeders and some Steller’s Jays are perched in the evergreen in the yard, yelling at me.

They’re yelling because I just put some nice, fresh peanuts on top of my car which is parked right in front of the porch on which I sit and the Jays apparently think the peanuts should be somewhere else.

Too bad. I want some close-up photos of the jays and those peanuts are their modeling fee. But they have to come get them. I can be as stubborn and cantankerous as any jay. That may be the reason I love them so much, I recognize kindred spirits. Probably has something to do with my authority issues. I don’t like being told what to do anymore than those jays like being told they have to come to my car to get the peanuts.

The chipmunks have so such scruples; they come to other end of the porch and hop up in the bucket that holds the peanuts.

Yesterday, I cut down some bushes that were growing next to the porch and the Juncos are prowling around in the resulting brush pile. They were perfectly good bushes; inoffensive, pretty, and innocent, but they had become “ladder fuel,” ground-dwelling plants high enough to reach low tree branches in a wildfire. The resulting pile will have to be moved, which won’t please the juncos, but they’ll be more polite about it than the jays are about their peanuts.


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