The changeling jay

Here is the strangest Blue Jay ever observed: solo, silent, still, peaceful – almost contemplative, fluffy on a warm summer day, and sipping from the bird bath.

Photos taken yesterday through the kitchen window.

jay1 jay2 jay3 jay4 jay5 jay6 jay7 jay8 jay9

Birds are avian dinosaurs

jay battle

Sometimes when I look at Blue Jays I think of velociraptors.

Birds are avian dinosaurs. Does everyone know that yet?

Audubon Magazine: The consensus is in: Birds are living dinosaurs. But how that epic evolutionary leap took place remains one of science’s greatest mysteries

Newsweek: Birds are dinosaurs, but how did they get here?

Nat Geo: Birds evolved from dinosaurs slowly – then took off

What blue jays look like….

jay

What blue jays think they look like…

velociraptor

To read:

Unknown

“Dinosaurs didn’t die out when an asteroid hit Earth 66 million years ago. Get ready to unthink what you thought you knew and journey into the deep, dark depths of the Jurassic. The discovery of the first feathered dinosaur in China in 1996 sent shockwaves through the palaeontological world. Were the feathers part of a complex mating ritual, or a stepping stone in the evolution of flight? And just how closely related is T. rex to a chicken? Award-winning journalist John Pickrell reveals how dinosaurs developed flight and became the birds in our backyards.”

The birds of (winter storm) Iola

Northern Cardinal

And it snowed and it snowed yesterday.

Blue Jay

I cleared railings and feeders every hour or two, fed the birds all day, and took a few pictures through glass too.

Flickr photo album: Winter Storm Iola and feeders

The Snow-Storm
by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o’er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river and the heaven,
And veils the farmhouse at the garden’s end.
The steed and traveler stopped, the courier’s feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm.

Come see the north wind’s masonry
Out of an unseen quarry evermore
Furnished with tile, the fierce artificer
Curves his white bastions with projected roof
Round every windward stake, or tree, or door.
Speeding, the myriad-handed, his wild work
So fanciful, so savage, nought cares he
For number or proportion. Mockingly,
On coop or kennel he hangs Parian wreaths;
A swan-like form invests the hidden thorn;
Fills up the farmer’s lane from wall to wall,
Maugre the farmer’s sighs; and, at the gate,
A tapering turret overtops the work.
And when his hours are numbered, and the world
Is all his own, retiring, as he were not,
Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art
To mimic in slow structure, stone by stone,
Built in an age, the mad wind’s night-work,
The frolic architecture of the snow.

Junco