Neighborhood Nature

Our Family's Nature Blog

Baby Blue Jay in the Street — but Not for Long June 19, 2009

Filed under: Animals,Birds,Seasons,Summer — saltthesandbox @ 3:07 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

While finishing my walk this morning, I noticed a small bird flopping in the middle of the street, about a block south of our house. I walked closer and recognized it as a baby Blue Jay. It could flap but not fly, perhaps because it was so young, or maybe because it had been soaked with rain. So, I gently herded it to the side of the street, over the curb, across the tree lawn, and between two bird-friendly houses.

Then I paused to take a photo:

The gleam in the baby Blue Jay's eye is from my camera's flash (not because it's thinking up ways to annpy other birds or people).

The gleam in this baby Blue Jay's eye is from my camera's flash (not because it's thinking up ways to annoy other birds or people).

Its parents watched from 20 feet above, scolding but not attacking:

The parents scolded my efforts, but did not attack me.

The parents scolded my efforts, but did not attack me.

Some folks don’t like Blue Jays because they’re loud and sometimes steal from other bird’s nests. But we have cultivated the few Blue Jays in our neighborhood for the past five years, leaving them peanuts-in-the-shell on our feeder’s squirrel baffle. Sometimes the Jays swoop down to grab a peanut, screeching alarm calls to scare off the Pigeon that dominates the baffle. More often, like today, they sneak in silently and snatch a peanut before the Pigeon notices.

We like helping Blue Jays, because they’re beautiful and smart and feisty — and because West Nile Virus almost wiped out our local population a few years ago.

Last year Blue Jays brought their young to our yard to teach them about peanuts. We hope today’s baby Blue Jay also finds our yard once it can fly.


More than two weeks later, on July 5th, a much larger young Blue Jay showed up in our backyard, and Aaron took photos of it. Go here to see them.


To learn more about Blue Jays, check these websites:

  • All About Birds – Basic information about Blue Jays.
  • Wikipedia – Encyclopedia-style information about Blue Jays.
  • Birdscope – An article about West Nile Virus in birds. For a related article, go here.

4 Responses to “Baby Blue Jay in the Street — but Not for Long”

  1. Jane Says:

    I haven’t seen a blue jay in Lincoln Square since the West Nile virus arrived. The crows seem to have returned this year, so maybe blue jays are next. My mom in Dallas always has lots in her backyard. She’s been hit in the head by jays protecting their nests.

  2. We also love bluejays! Sometimes we’ll be looking at one at the feeder and suddenly find ourselves amazed at the ridiculously beautiful plumage they are blessed with. They truly are smart, fun, and gorgeous birds.

  3. Dave Says:

    What with the WNV it’s nice to see more Blue jays. Nice rescue!

  4. charlene Says:

    Blue Jays are beautiful birds. I love to watch them. I have one question. A baby blue jay is down on the ground and can’t seem to fly. Should you pick the baby bird up and put it up in the tree so nothing gets it or leave it alone. Momma bird is watching it.

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