Making friends with blue jays

Yes, they are kind of noisy, but this is one of the things I love about them. They constantly let everyone know what is going on and when the Cooper’s hawk shows up, they bravely taunt him/her giving everyone a chance to dive for cover. They love it when I throw peanuts to them and have recently started bringing the young to the patio to indulge. Click on pictures to enlarge.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

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Celebrating backyard birds

Sitting in the backyard is so much better than television! Click on pictures to enlarge.

© Chris Taylor

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© Chris Taylor

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And, don’t forget the mammals.

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Plentiful acorns

With the drought, there were very few acorns this time last year. I am happy to report quite a few in our neighbor’s trees this year. The blue jays are very happy right now. Click on pictures to enlarge.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

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© Chris Taylor

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Portraits

One thing I’ve been learning photographing so many birds is patience is crucial. The longer I keep sudden movements to a minimum, the longer I get to observe and just hang out. I know I am anthropomorphizing, but it does seem like sometimes they are posing. 🙂 Click on pictures to enlarge.

© Chris Taylor

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Young cooper’s hawk

A very young cooper’s hawk kept the blue jays busy in our backyard this morning. Everywhere she went, they followed. When they got bored chasing her, she would come back, swoop down at them, and the chase was on again. She’s learning to hunt and the blue jays are quite tired of dealing with her. I’m constantly amazed by the drama going on right over our heads. Click on pictures to enlarge.

© Chris Taylor

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Sharpie drama

I was watching a group of blue jays diving in and out of the trees picking up acorns yesterday when all of a sudden a sharp-shinned hawk plunged into the group. Fortunately for the jays, no one was lunch. Sadly for the hawk, he/she flew away hungry. I didn’t react fast enough to get pictures of the action, but did get a few of the hawk hanging out on our maple tree.  I had no idea just how many birds were hanging out where I was until the hawk showed up and it seemed like hundreds flew up out of nowhere. It’s still very cloudy here, so photography is a bit frustrating. Click on pictures to enlarge.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

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