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.