Tag Archives: bluejay

Celebrating bluejays

This amazing bird imitates a red-tailed hawk, waits a coupe of minutes, then sounds an alarm. This clears everyone out so he/she can have a clear shot at the feeder. Apparently, this is not unusual. Many bluejays are quite good at this. Click on pictures to enlarge.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

 

 

 

Content Protection by DMCA.com

Bathing beauty

We have a neighborhood bluejay who likes to scare everyone with his/her red-tailed hawk call. Today, I heard the call outside my office window. There she/he was, bathing and screeching. Very cool bird! Click on pictures to enlarge.

 

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

Content Protection by DMCA.com

Need more snow

Really, we do not need more snow. 🙂 The weather and work have made it a bit tougher to get out to the usual places, but our feeders in the yard are hopping. I’m filling them up pretty much every day. Here are a few of the regulars. Click on pictures to enlarge.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

Content Protection by DMCA.com

Kestrel (warning–graphic picture)

For the past few weeks, I’ve been seeing a kestrel in the park a couple of blocks from us. When we came home from the grocery store Saturday morning, he was sitting in a tree in the backyard eating a junco. In the world of raptors, the American kestrel seems like a wee one, not particularly scary, but that’s only true if one is not a small bird, rodent, insect, etc. There is  certainly a reason they are also called “sparrow hawks.” I know the life of a bird of prey is a hard one, particularly in the winter, but poor little junco! All the small birds in the yard were yelling at the kestrel. I could imagine him saying, “Hey, I’ve got to eat too.” The bluejays were dive-bombing him over and over, but he stayed until he finished his breakfast. What I found really interesting about this is how all the birds worked cooperatively to try and run him off. Bluejays are known for sometimes eating smaller birds, but they were quick to join the sparrows and juncos in the fight against the larger predator. Once again, I am in awe of the life and death struggles that take place around we humans that so many of us never seem to notice. I won’t post the particularly graphic pics (I think this one is quite enough). Click on pictures to enlarge.

© Chris Taylor

Bluejay defends.

© Chris Taylor

Another junco looks on.

© Chris Taylor

Content Protection by DMCA.com

Snow days

We finally got our big snow. I know–it’s relative. We didn’t get nearly what others have. I never did hear what we ended up with, but my guess is less than a foot. It’s mighty cold with the wind blowing! An arctic blast is on the way. I’ve filled all the feeders and made some tasty vegan suet for the Carolina wrens. My thoughts are with them over the next few very cold days. Click on pictures to enlarge.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

Content Protection by DMCA.com

Winter visitors

It’s always great to see all the visitors to the feeders at this time of year. Click on pictures to enlarge.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

A great way to help birds this winter is to create a brush pile. It’s a good place to keep warm and hide from predators.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

Nuthatches seem to do pretty much everything upside down.

© Chris Taylor

Content Protection by DMCA.com

On alert

I was outside scraping ice off the car this morning when I saw a cooper’s hawk fly in after the smaller birds feeding in our backyard. I watched her land and sit on some brush over where the smaller birds were hiding. I went over to where she was and she didn’t move an inch. I looked up at the hawk. She looked down at me. “You don’t even care that I’m here,” I said out loud.

She looked down at me again as if to say, “Yeah, that’s right. I’m hungry.” A red-winged blackbird flew out of the brush and the hawk dived after her. They were moving so fast, I literally had to jump out of the way as the blackbird flew directly at me with the hawk on her tail. The blackbird then flew right at the house and I was sure she was going to crash, but she pulled up fast and then flew back down around a tree. She circled the trees in the yard several times with the hawk right on her tail. She then made a swift turn and went toward my neighbor’s yard. It looked like she got away.

When the smaller birds came back out of the brush to start eating again, everyone seemed to be on high alert. Crests were up. These life and death dramas play out around us every day and I always find myself wondering how many notice. I so wished I had my camera with me when all this took place, but it’s really the moment that matters.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

Content Protection by DMCA.com