Tag Archives: Blue Jay

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

Some photos of a blue jay

Blue Jay

Blue Jay, Cyanocitta cristata.

That time a blue jay sat still

bluejay

“It’s snowing. I guess I’ll just sit here.”

This jay was perched on the tray of our tube feeder for almost a whole minute. I had time to get my camera and focus on this normally flitting, flapping, hopping, squabbling creature.

Blue jays, like other corvids, are highly curious and are considered intelligent birds.

Perhaps this one is lost in thought.

The Blue Jay

Blue Jay

Nature, Poem 51: The Blue Jay
Emily Dickinson

No brigadier throughout the year
So civic as the jay.
A neighbor and a warrior too,
With shrill felicity

Pursuing winds that censure us
A February day,
The brother of the universe
Was never blown away.

Blue Jay

The snow and he are intimate;
I ‘ve often seen them play
When heaven looked upon us all
With such severity,

I felt apology were due
To an insulted sky,
Whose pompous frown was nutriment
To their temerity.

Blue Jay

The pillow of this daring head
Is pungent evergreens;
His larder — terse and militant —
Unknown, refreshing things;

His character a tonic,
His future a dispute;
Unfair an immortality
That leaves this neighbor out.

Nuts for birds

Blue Jay

Got peanuts?

Four or five Blue Jays have been visiting a few times a day, carrying off every peanut they can find. I watched one big jay wolf down 11 peanuts then fly off!

I thought wow, I guess they have a lot of babies to feed this year.

Or… are they taking and hoarding the peanuts, depriving other peanut-loving birds of a favorite food? Bluebirds, chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, grackles, catbirds, pine warblers losing? Blue Jays winning?

According to an article in Audubon Magazine, Slings and Arrows: Why Birders Love to Hate Blue Jays, these bold blue relatives of crows and ravens cache nuts like acorns and beechnuts.

The foraging blue jays, she explained, held an acorn with their feet and hammered the nut’s cap with a closed bill until it came loose. The birds then used their lower mandibles to pry the cap off and either hammered the acorn open and ate it or swallowed the nut whole for caching. The expandable throat and esophagus of a blue jay can hold up to five pin oak acorns or three larger ones from white oaks, and the bird typically collects one more nut in its bill before departing.

Arriving at its cache site, the blue jays usually regurgitated their acorn haul in a pile, then dropped the nuts one at a time within a few yards of each other, covering them with leaf litter.

Blue Jay

Who, me?

From All About Birds

Blue Jays are known for their intelligence and complex social systems with tight family bonds. Their fondness for acorns is credited with helping spread oak trees after the last glacial period.

So, my purchased peanuts are part of the little dragon-treasure hoards of our resident Blue Jays!