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