Blue jays are not common in my yard. I don’t know what fluke it may be–whether we’re too rural or something, since I used to see them constantly when I lived in the city, and there’s certainly plenty in Pittsboro proper. But for the longest time, I would see maybe one blue jay a year, who was passing through on his way to someplace else.
This was kind’ve a bummer because I like blue jays. I’ve never had one be rude on a feeder, and their colors are so dramatic that they make me unbearably happy.
For the last week or so, though, a couple of jays have been hanging around, high in the pine trees, being raucous and generally traumatizing the mourning doves. They don’t visit the feeders, I don’t see them on the bird bath, but they’re up there in the trees, making occasional appearances and dropping ragged, brilliant feathers on the grass.
Today I saw one hopping along a branch with a long bit of pine needle in his beak, and went “Ah…hmmm.” Got out the binoculars, and sure enough, there is a very well-hidden nest waaay up in the tallest loblolly pine (right next to the red-bellied woodpecker’s snag, and bordering on the garden.)
Whatever was keeping the jays away–whether it was simply that none had wandered in, or something was missing, or that something was actively dissuading them–it seems to have cleared up. I hope this means we’ll have jays in the yard in the future, but at least it means somebody will.
There were also eight mourning doves under the feeder and on the birdbath today, and a pair of brown thrashers in the blackberry tangle at the end of the drive, the local whippoorwill has been going nuts all night–and Kevin heard something that was probably a barred owl last night, much to his delight–so the birds are definitely out there.