(Remember that song?)
A few days ago I was delighted to see a pair of scrub jays in my yard. We haven’t had them around for several years, since West Nile killed so many of them.
Of course, I had to rush out and buy some peanuts for them.
Mmmm. Those peanuts look pretty tasty:
What you don’t see is that I was sitting at the other end of the table (Larry took the photos). They’re so bold! It was interesting to see this one (the male?) grab the peanut, fly up to the tree and crack it open, eat one of the peanuts, then fly to the other jay on a nearby telephone wire and feed the other peanut to (her?).
Yesterday I heard one of them making an odd rattling noise that I don’t remember hearing before. It turns out that only the females make this sound. (It’s the 3rd sound file on this page.)
While looking for a sound file for that rattle, I found out some interesting things about jays. I knew they were very smart, but I didn’t realize that corvids (the family of birds including jays, magpies, crows, etc.) have a brain-to-body mass ratio that is the same as great apes and cetaceans (whales and dolphins). They are surpassed only by humans.
Pretty amazing stuff. But I’m just happy to see them back because they’re so entertaining to watch.
Maybe if I’m patient, I’ll get one to take a peanut from my hand.