Monday, April 15, 2013

Beautiful Blue Jays

My backyard is bursting with furry and feathery activity these days, which includes the frequent visits from the beautifully coloured blue jays that never fail to announce their arrival with that oh-so familiar raucous call they’re known for.


These cheerful-looking birds stop by throughout most of the year, but they don’t come around very much from late April to late August. During that period, the robins move in to raise a family, and in order to protect their young, they aggressively chase the blue jays away whenever they come into the yard.


Blue jays always arrive in pairs but they never land in open areas together; they take turns. Whenever one flies down to a feeding area, the other keeps a lookout on a nearby tree branch or fence to make sure there are no predators around, and no imminent danger.


The pair that arrives is a couple, and because these birds mate for life, it’s possible they’ve been together for a long time. With the exception of the male being slightly larger, a male and female blue jay are identical in appearance. And because they never appear in open spaces together so I can compare them, I can’t tell which one is at the feeder at any given time.


Around the end of August, the blue jay couple starts to bring their young around, too. And because these birds are very social and live in flocks, sometimes the entire community shows up. There are days when six, seven or eight blue jays will stop by at the same time. It is such a treat!


I adore these birds, and truly enjoy their visits. Of course, I’m not the only one that does. My cats take quite an interest in them. Although, probably not for the same reasons...

My cat, Mocha, watching the blue jay through the kitchen window.

24 comments:

  1. Pretty bird, and it's nice to hear that the male isn't the only one getting those gorgeous colours. All this activity must be like watching an action movie for Mocha.

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    1. It sure is like an action movie for her. But I think she'd rather be the star of it...with the blue jay in her mouth!

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  2. I love blue jays. They are so blue! We do not see them around here very often but we do see a lot of Robins so maybe that is the reason. My cat likes to watch the birds, too. For now he is grounded and not allowed outside so he must watch them from inside the house.

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    1. I never saw blue jays until I moved here. They are such beautiful birds. My cats are grounded for life. They are not allowed outdoors because I think I would die if one of them brought home a bird or some other little creature.

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  3. Ah, they are so pretty! And that cat is really staring......

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    1. The birds coming into the back yard drives my cats crazy! And it exhausts them, too. They watch for awhile and then they take a nap :)

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  4. That's a great action shot of the blue jay flying away from the feeder!

    I see that Grumpy Cat is putting on airs over on your sidebar. Either that, or imitating Mr. Peanut.

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    1. Grumpy cat is becoming famous, so I wonder if she's putting on airs. Nah! She's probably trying to imitate Mr. Peanut!

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  5. I love the bluejays, but your Mocha photo is fantastic!

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  6. You cat is just like my cat, Malice. She watches very closely to any movement in the back yard.

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    1. It's like a television show for them. We call it the 'bird' station.

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  7. Fun and pretty post, Martha, with a humorous twist at the end! Your blue jays antics throughout the seasons sound like so much fun! I rarely spot an eastern blue jay in our area. I miss them so much! Grammie's yard in Nova Scotia always had them ~ not to mention all the other yards. Have a happy day!

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    1. I'd never seen blue jays before I moved here. It is a real treat. They are such beautiful birds.

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  8. I've never seen a bluejay (except in pictures), but they make me happy. Partly because they're pretty, and partly because they remind me of a book that was very important to me when I was younger, in which one of the secondary characters is a bluejay.
    And I have a soft spot for corvids, anyway.

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    1. I adore corvids! I don't know what it is about them that I like so much, but I find them beautiful and fascinating.

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  9. Gorgeous! I love those photos - especially the one with the bird flying away. I also didn't know that robins were so bossy. Who would have thought!

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    1. They are very aggressive when they are defending their young ones. Each year, we've had robin families in our yard and they are very dedicated and hardworking parents. The blue jays are kept away until the baby robins leave the nest. After that, the robins don't care anymore.

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  10. Wonderful bird feeder! How do you keep the squirrels out of it?

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    1. I don't! I waved a white flag to the squirrels a long time ago...the little stinkers.

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  11. I love blue jays too, especially when they warn other birds of the presence of predators like hawks or cats.

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    1. And sometimes they send out a faking warning about predators, and when the other critters scatter in fear, they have the food area to themselves!

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