« Coming Up Roses | Main | These Little Things Which Make Up Life »


19 May 2006 — Further Tales of the Jays (5)

Some of you may have been following the saga of the juvenile jays here at Rosings Park. We just had more major excitement, so I thought I'd provide a brief update.

To recap:

On Monday evening, Nemo caught a fledgling scrub jay. We rescued the bird, which was unharmed, and one its siblings, and put them in the bushes where we believed they lived. During this excitement, a small community of adult jays (not just the parents) scolded and harried us.

We grounded our cats for several days, locking them in the house during the beautiful warm afternoons and evenings. ("Unfair to cats! Unfair to cats!")

On Tuesday morning, I found the decapitated corpse of one of the baby jays in the middle of the sidewalk. A neighbor cat had murdered it. We let Simon out for a bit on Tuesday evening while we did yardwork. He didn't get into any mischief, but the adult jays let him have an earful when he ventured too close to the shrubbery.

On Wednesday evening, Kris spied a neighbor cat in the fledgling ground; it was being harried by the adult jays. She ran outside and scared the interloper away. She also moved a baby jay from the middle of the lawn into the shrubs.

On Friday morning, I found a second decapitated baby jay corpse in the middle of the sidewalk. A neighbor cat had murdered it. In the afternoon, I beat the bushes, but neither saw nor heard any jays, young or old. We let our cats outside.

Moments ago, Nemo caught another baby jay and brought it to the porch. This time, the bird was not unharmed. He did not kill it, but I believe he broke one of its legs. "We should bring it in and feed it," Kris said. I convinced her that we could not possibly save it, and that its only hope is to gain flight (which it is close to doing). We watched it struggle across the lawn in the rain — the adults flew from tree to tree, swooping low over the ground to keep an eye on their charge. I spotted another baby underneath the azaleas, so got up and moved the wounded bird to be with its sibling. The adults raised a ruckus.

How many baby jays are there? Will any survive? I don't know. But I dearly hope that, in just a few days, we'll look out the kitchen window at the feeder to see a juvenile jay with a wounded leg.


Comments
On 20 May 2006 (06:34 AM), J.D. said:

This morning (Saturday morning), at 6am, I was in a deep and sound slumber when Kris hopped out of bed. "Can you hear that? The jays are in trouble," she said. "Flash is out there."

Flash is the mean neighborhood cat. He was stalking through the grass, and the adult jays were unhappy. I ran down, pulled on some shorts, and chased him off with a stick. He was not happy.


On 20 May 2006 (09:45 AM), Will said:

Ahh... good old stick. Multitasker of the caveman. Is there anything you can't do?


On 20 May 2006 (03:25 PM), J.D. said:

Ah, reality, how I curse you!

When we got up this morning and went outside to do yardwork, the broken-legged baby was dead on the grass, near the azaleas. He didn't look munched. I think he starved to death or died of internal injuries and/or shock. Nemo is the culprit, I fear.

The jays are still guarding the hedges, though.


On 20 May 2006 (11:06 PM), Blogeois said:

I like birds. I really like baby birds. But I HATE baby bird season just for this reason.


On 30 May 2006 (07:01 AM), leena said:

I could use some help. In my bamboo, 6 feet outside my back door, a blue jay has set up her nest. There are three baby fledglings inside. I have a cat who has not yet harmed any. However, the adult jays are attacking my cat, myself and my children if we leave the house. We are captive. We have to go out using umbrellas. They still dive bomb us. They have attacked my cat thru the screen window. They actually pecked thru the screen and got his nose (bleeding). I am a wildlife lover but I am tired of living in fear for my children and my cat. Any suggestions?? I am not sure how much longer we can tolerate this. It is difficult to get to our cat and I am most concerned for my children's safety. These are aggressive nasty but beautiful birds.