Jays.....

.... every spring for the past ten years we have had the hummingbirds here..... emerald and ruby-throated, they have always formed two camps - with our hummingbird feeder providing the focus of both of their nests.......

.... the one who usually nests in the back yard has always chosen the lowest boughs of a tulip poplar not far from my patio, and he is usually the most aggressive...... and in the front - closest to the feeder - his sister and son-in-law have always chosen the leafy folds of an aging dogwood to build their home for the summer.....

.... it has been a great treat to watch them tangle as they joust for the first tastes of sugar-water that our little 1.5 acres affords them as they travel north-to-south...... in truth, the feeder is actually just three feet from the living room window, so I can easily see them as they feed......

..... this year, however, something new has happened........

..... the backyard usual has arrived and pitched camp..... but the family who normally sets up in the dogwood out front is not present.......... dead, most likely...... victims of any number of scary things that might have happened to them as they made their way from Tennessee to Mexico last autumn........

..... but instead?..... a brand new family of birds that I have never seen before have taken up residence..... and while not hummingbirds (they actually fly like normal birds, but are just about the size of hummingbirds) they have built a bowl-like nest near the top of the same dogwood that the hummingbirds used.......

.... the difference is, I suppose, that the hummingbirds only created a nest the size of half of a chicken egg...... and these little fellows are guarding a nest the size of half a baseball........

.... two weeks ago I had been working on a piece of cedar in the front yard when I first noticed the commotion above me...... and as I glanced up from my carving, I saw the two tiny birds.... they were chirping at each other..... and at first I imagined that they were arguing......... spring it was, after all...... but after an hour of watching, I realized that they were talking...... and that they were each arriving on their branch with stuff to build a nest......

.... over the last two weeks, I have watched them through my binoculars attempt, work, and complete the nest that they were aiming for..... and I have been very impressed with what they have done....... good god, can you imagine what a chore it must be to be driven by nature to work, work, work, stress, and toil in such a way?...... and hell, these are just Beasts of The Field........ I cannot imagine how much I would toil if it were my OWN children that I were building and working for......... but, that is another mater.......

..... in any case, as I sat watching zombie movies today, I noticed that a blue jay had zoned in on the tiny birds nest........ and he/she was sitting on a branch not five feet from where their freshly laid eggs were being cuddled by that little nest of theirs......

..... I immediately got up and fetched the shotgun that I use for turkey hunting, slipped a round from the stock- holder into the magazine, and stepped out onto my front lawn..... I looked up at the blue jay, and it gazed down at me......... and while I knew that it was at such an angle as to not be safely fireable (due to my neighbors), I pressed the release and racked a round into the chamber....... as soon as I did that, the evil, predatory, cantankerous bird took flight.......

..... I stood there for another ten minutes - watching it wander from branch to branch just of out range - while the little parents of the eggs/birds that I was defending flitted too and fro between me and my blue jay.......

.... the blue jay eventually left, and the parents came home to their child/children, albeit unborn.......

....... two things stuck me most, I guess, as the day passed as I described above........ number one?...... the looks on the faces of the drivers of the two cars that passed through my cul-de-sac as I stood in the middle of my lawn with a loaded 12 gauge - peering up at the oak tree that borders my property to the north......... god, they must have thought that I was nuts.......... and it must have made them give a second thought about who it IS that lives with them in their little community.....

.... and secondly, well, just how much I hate blue jays......... they are bullies, thieves, and murderers....... I do believe that I wrote about how many I killed one year when I was just little...... but, wow, how I do so hate blue jays and all that they represent.......

..... predators are not allowed on my property....... around here, I am the only predator..... and I get to choose........

by Eric on April 22, 2010 | Bullshit (3) | TrackBack (0) | Ummm, Ok....
Bullshit So Far

Your state bird is also a bad-ass...I've seen 'em dive bomb Stretch on many occasions.

Bullshitted by Yabu on April 23, 2010 06:58 AM

Hrrmm I was thinking more along of the lines of Big Neighbors helping small neighbors heh

And the comparison of neighbors talking as they work on their homes

bah. Its too early for me to wax eloquent on animal philosophy in social culture

Bullshitted by BloodSpite on April 23, 2010 08:48 AM

I have the same problem down here in SoCal with the Jays and our Hummers. I'm in a Resi neighborhood right next to the National Forest and Neighbors, not to mention the Mounties don't look kindly on a 12ga in the back yard.

But the trusty C02 pistol? No Jay, no Problema.

One little "Pffft", and the Kitteh has a snack, the Hummers have their babies......

Bullshitted by Wollf on April 23, 2010 10:50 AM