Thursday, December 12, 2013

This week's Crops & Clips: Blue Jay

After I captured these views of a Blue Jay busily foraging for acorns, I realized that I have far too few photos of this common yet beautiful bird. I caught this one in a baseline state.

Blue Jay 20131117

Blue Jay 3-20131117

Several acorns can be stuffed into one gular pouch.

Blue Jay with acorn 20121021

Blue Jay with acorns 20110105

Jays take up the highest perches, watching for intruders, ready to sound the alert.

Blue Jay 20101210

Blue Jay 20120128

Blue Jays are so common that I don't feel an urge to photograph them, and when I do they seem to be smart and wary. Like the Steller's Jays in New Mexico, their shadows often fall on mine as they follow me with the sun at their backs.

Blue Jay 20110425

They like to keep some vegetation between them and the camera.

Blue Jay 2-20130719

Always on guard, Blue Jays are easily agitated, whether simply by my presence or because of some real or imagined threat. The excited call of one summons hordes that appear out of nowhere.

Blue Jay near Eagle nest 20091216

Blue Jay Calling 20081020

Bellicose and unafraid, they mob or attack owls eagles, large hawks, some falcons as well as cats and anything smaller and weaker.

I watched three jays chase a Merlin that could have killed any one of them. This American Kestrel was fair game.

Blue Jay and Kestrel 20101210

Blue Jay and Kestrel 2-20101210

The kestrel retreats, but the chase is still not over.

Blue Jay and Kestrel 4-20101210

Loggerhead Shrikes may eat small birds, but they are no match for this scruffy jay in molt, who retained his perch as King of the Roost

 Shrike and Blue Jay 20110730

I obtained a rare intimate portrait.

Blue Jay portrait 20121021

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