Blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata).
Once again, I have January photos with no snow although I am writing this post in February on an extremely cold and snowy night.
I saw one blue jay the other morning eating sunflower seeds on the ground under the feeder, but he/she didn’t stay long enough for photos. Birds of New Jersey explains that blue jays are non-migrators to partial migrators in that they move around to find food.
I guess most of us know a blue jay when we see one or hear one. They are noisy and bossy. Birds of New Jersey reports that they have been known to eat eggs or young birds from other birds’ nests. They seem to eat everything, including carrion.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology reports that jays are known for their intelligence and complex social systems with tight family bonds. Also that jays like acorns and help to spread oak trees because they carry food in a throat pouch to cache somewhere else.
I’m concerned about the tight family bonds situation with the solitary blue jay who comes to the feeders this winter. For several years, 2 blue jays have been around. Some time ago, a neighbor was in the habit of throwing peanuts in shells out on the driveway for the jays, who came every morning without fail. This was all OK except that the peanuts also attracted some groundhogs, which turned into a very bad situation, but that’s a story for another day.
Last fall, I found blue jay feathers under the feeders. I don’t know if the culprit who killed the jay might have been a hawk. Hawks have been seen on the ground in the garden. They fly overhead frequently. Or the culprit might have been the neighbor’s cat. I don’t know. But I fear that the solitary jay who comes around now is the remaining mate. I have no idea if it’s male or female. I wonder if blue jays find new mates in a situation like this. So much I don’t know about my feathered friends.
Of course, I don’t know that the blue jays I have seen around the last few years are the same birds. Perhaps they are not. Whenever I see blue jays again, whether single or in pairs, I will try to get photos and let you know what’s happening with the jays.