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.
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.