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The Story and The Poem

By: EarlB , 1:06 AM GMT on October 14, 2012

The Story:

I heard a once familiar birdcall a couple of weeks ago, from a bird
I've never seen on the farm in the 12 years I've lived here, but I
distinctly remembered that call. I also know that the year-round-
resident mockingbirds have heard it before and wouldn't hesitate
to practice it at my expense! Later in the week I was surprised and
happy to see at least three bluejays streaking back and forth through
the trees calling that same familiar, raucous call.

"Having" jays is spotty here, I remember years ago while living
just 15 miles north in a small community, a much less wild
environment than the farm, that a friend involved in the local
annual bird count asked if I'd mind his stopping by with team
members to count jays at my feeder! You either had jays or not,
and most places just didn't!

It's also the time-of-year when the oaks are throwing their fading
energies into fattening their fruit, the acorns. Plump, and still
soft-shelled, the acorns are the larder for the jays: the tree
to which the jays flew was dripping with flight food.

So, though I continue to have hopes for a winter presence of the
colorful jays, and will continue to tempt them with the sadly
deficient sunflower and safflower seeds, their somewhat annoying
"song" hasn't scolded me for the past week. Maybe this troupe
moved on farther south, maybe another will stop for the slimmer
pickings at the winter bird feeding station and stay local. In
any case, for now, both bluejays and acorns are gone.

The Poem:

Jays in the trees eat
Ripe acorns to fuel their flight;
And then they are gone.

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The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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6. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
10:24 PM GMT on October 27, 2012
EarlB has created a new entry.
5. Proserpina
12:28 AM GMT on October 15, 2012
I live in Northern VA and plenty of Bluejays come to my feeders. They do love peanuts! I offer them shelled and unshelled unsalted peanuts. I do not mind at all their raucous songs, at least not most of the time. This summer I watched parent Bluejays taking care of their baby. The baby kept coming back for water, food, and a perch (the deck railing) to rest and sleep. It is possible that she/he is still around but as an adult I could not distinguish one from another. Good luck with attracting this pretty blue bird.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
4. EarlB
9:30 PM GMT on October 14, 2012
hi cal,

that stellar is a handsome bird! the scrub might
be as well when he dries off!! ha ha i remember
seeing a gray jay in the bend OR area. really
close in appearance to the stellar. i'm not a
"birder", but i enjoy knowing who's in the

thanks for the photos.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
3. calpoppy
2:51 PM GMT on October 14, 2012
We have Scrub jays here. They stick around all year and eat anything they can. They also cache their food. I have seen them scoop up sunflower seeds until their crop and their beaks are stuffed and them place the seeds in various spots and bury them.

Stellar jays are just a mile up the canyon. They prefer the mountains to the high desert.

Good luck on keeping them around all year!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
2. EarlB
10:15 AM GMT on October 14, 2012

good tips on the raw peanuts: no. i've never tried
nuts. i put out the black sunflower, thistle (nyjer)
and white millet. i have chickadees, cardinals and
titmice through the winter along with song and
white-throated sparrows. they'll think they're in


Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1. shoreacres
1:17 AM GMT on October 14, 2012
Jays are among my favorites. Along with their raucous cries, they have a lovely, lilting flight song. They're always plentiful here during nesting, hatching and fledging. Then, they disappear from the feeders in about September as the natural foods begin to ripen. Pecans, walnuts, acorns - all fodder for them.

It's amazing to go into the woods in late October and November. They tell me the birds are still there, but you don't hear a sound. The robins create a ruckus when they migrate through, and the geese, but that's about it.

This is the time of year I miss my squirrel. I would go out and collect a winter's worth of acorns for him, then freeze them. This year's crop is so plentiful - they're beautiful acorns. The squirrels and deer are going to be very happy.

Oh - have you ever tried raw shelled peanuts at the feeder? Chickadees, cardinals, titmice and bluejays love them!
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