Sunday, May 29, 2011

tree year project 2011, #8

juvenile western scrub-jay perched on coast Douglas-fir
Aphelocoma californica perched on Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii

posted 06/19/11 - Sometime around the second week of May, I first noticed my friendly scrub-jay's 3 youngsters. They were pretty awkward flying and mainly watched mom from the branches of this Douglas-fir I'm featuring in the the Tree Year Project. After getting a peanut, she would always fly back to their low nest in a nearby oak tree, I think to encourage the little ones to follow her for food. Then a late night ruckus happened, which sounded too much like a raccoon/scrub-jay fight, and I only saw the one pictured above for almost 2 weeks. Since then, two of the juveniles have been loudly following mom's every move. She chases them away from our balcony and will quickly sound an alarm call if a hawk is in the area. In the past few days they seem to get up before she does, and one quickly snatched a couple peanuts from me yesterday morning. Each one is a little different in voice and boldness of behavior, like stealing mom's stashed peanut from a pine cone. It's been a real joy to observe the mother scrub-jay teaching her young.


Anonymous said...

We are doing the same thing! Our adults are still not hand tamed, but are now hopping onto the deck and then onto our coffee table to take peanuts - one pretty confidently, the other still w/ lots of approach/avoidance behavior - but every couple of days they bring the babes along. We can always tell because, alone, the adults are silent but when they bring the fledglings the scream bloody murder while the babes do their begging calls.

Allison said...

Just right there? Perched on your deck? How beautiful!

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Janet, I've been amazed to watch how every scrub-jay, including the young ones, have such different personalities.

Allison, yep. I've been feeding peanuts to the mom for over a year now. She even knows to look into different windows to see if we're around and will patiently sit for 10 minutes or so until I go out to offer her a peanut. The bolder and surprisingly quieter of her two remaining young has learned to do the same sit and stare.

Anonymous said...

cute little puff ball :-)