I abandoned my mission and ran shrieking back to the front porch, sobbing out my story. That was when I learned from my parents that mama blue jays don't like little naturalists messing with their fledgelings.
It took some years to recover from that trauma, but I managed to forgive the mother bird for her attack.
The blue jays in the Not-So-Big Woods enjoy irritating me in a totally different way. For 3 years, we've been trying to lure them in with offerings of peanuts. For 3 years, they've been indifferent.
|Choosing carefully. Not all peanuts are equal.|
|Desperately wanting to carry two nuts at once, but beak capacity is limited.|
Suddenly, for no reason that I can find, we've been stamped "APPROVED." A blue jay couple visits every morning, scooping up peanuts both shelled and unshelled. Unlike many other situations I've read about, our jays don't bully the smaller birds, probably because we have so much food available and spread out over a large area.
|Cramming shelled and unshelled nuts at the same time.|
|Too many nuts in the crop to easily push this one down.|
|Taking off, fully laden.|