It was not hard to rectify that oversight, as they are daily visitors to my never-full-enough peanut dish. They weren't happy that I stayed out on the deck (as evidenced by the suspicious glare), but their desire for peanuts was greater than their trepidation. They didn't pose long - just long enough to grab a peanut - but after I proved that I wasn't about to move from my chair and was happy to let them sort through the dish, they didn't mind as much. They wouldn't quite come to the additional peanuts I scatter around the deck furniture (to their credit, my legs were up on the table and that was probably too close for comfort), but one bold jay did snatch a peanut I'd placed on the top of the dock box where my seed is stored.
They are demanding, and loud, and never satisfied with even the most generous handful of nuts, but they are still treasured visitors to my yard. I talk to them, and I fancy that they talk back - at least they have learned to recognize me and my voice, and get more vocal themselves when I'm out filling the feeders and announcing that peanuts are now available. They've learned all the places I set out the peanuts, and they've found some ingenious hiding places to cache the nuts themselves, including inside sprinklers, deep in bushes, and of course, all over the lawn. I think we've both learned a lot from one another, and I look forward to both giving and receiving many more lessons from my jays!
Check out my latest article on western scrub-jays, and share your own sightings in the comments!