(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.
Scrub jays have been shown to be able to plan for the future, and have “funerals” for dead jays (there’s even a video of one here).
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.
I hope your patience pays off. The jays are my favorite bird to watch as they provide hours of entertainment while they hide their peanuts and work to keep them from magpies. The bird he fed may be one of this years nestlings and, while fully grown, is still being watched after by the parents.
We have blue jays here. I used to feed them peanuts every morning (before we moved) and if I didn’t get them out there on time the jays would make a racket until I got the job done! And then they didn’t eat them…just hid them around the yard.
Yours are bold though if they come right to the table you are sitting at. Very cool!
Corvids are amazing! I’m glad they’re back. 🙂
I love to watch jays. They are really smart and clever birds! (But, now? That song.)
Mid-hop photo, even! Pretty.
They are fun. They used to eat out of Kenny’s hand (and bite him when he would tease them by holding onto the peanut).