My recent evenings are often spent in the back garden, feet propped up, camera and binoculars at the ready, unobtrusively watching for migrating songbirds as they visit the garden and pond before sundown. It’s a quiet time of day, falling water and birdsong the primary serenades.
At least, most of the time it’s quiet. A few evenings ago, these two Blue Jays, Cyanocitta cristata, landed on the peanut feeder and couldn’t, or wouldn’t, co-feed in peace. Rather than sharing the bounty, each snapped at one another, reaching around the feeder, sharp beaks aimed to intimidate, movements swinging the feeder. Both birds were belligerent and possessive of the desired protein snack.
Eventually, the one on the left flopped to the ground and contented himself with peanut bits there. The victor noshed a bit longer, then flew to a nearby branch, allowing the vanquished to visit the feeder once more, before flying off for the night.
I typically have between 5 to 7 Blue Jays coming to the garden. Though they all look alike to me, I know the number of individual Jays because in the mornings, I pour a cupful of unshelled peanuts into a different feeder which is attached to a privacy fence. The Jays come from all over, alighting in the Oak tree and along the fence, so it’s a quick count of birds as each politely flies in for a nut, grabs the prize, then speeds off to enjoy in some distant tree, leaving the feeder free for the next hungry bird. In the mornings, there’s no argument between birds. Everyone plays nicely.
I guess like all of us, birds are refreshed and easy going in the morning, a bit grumpier by the end of the day.
I’m joining with Anna and Wednesday Vignette today. Check out her lovely Flutter and Hum for garden stories.