Sunday, December 6, 2009

Return of the Jays

Western scrub jays are one of my favorite birds, and I put whole peanuts out for them frequently in the summer. For the past few weeks, however, the peanuts have sat forgotten in their small dish on the patio table, only occasionally being disturbed or vanishing, though each time I've missed the perpetrator. Walking outside to finish putting up Christmas lights earlier this week, however, I saw one lone jay hunkered in our neighbor's apple tree, just surveying the neighborhood. I immediately replenished the peanut supply, and within just a few minutes that jay and one of his friends were eagerly picking over the nuts and caching them wherever they could.

Too often, birders remove feeders long before they should, leaving birds one more food source short as winter approaches. I urge you to keep your feeders filled and fresh, even if you don't see the birds as often or if your favorite species seem to have vanished. They are around, even if they visit less or are more unseen, and different foods in a ready supply will be very welcome. Once they realize they can continue to count on you for a tasty meal, they may return even more frequently, as noted by the jays that have visited much more often in the last day or two - always picking clean the peanut dish I'm keeping filled.

Granted, many birds migrate and you won't see them again until spring, but in the meantime, why not share your backyard buffet with their winter cousins? Keep those feeders filled!


Frank Baron said...

At my place, it's a race between the bluejays and the squirrels as to who gets the peanuts. Both are likely to scold the other.

Jube said...

Nice blog. I live in Salt Lake City and I too have noticed that the scrub jays only take the peanuts I set out for them every few days. They are so much fun to feed, though!