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Thread: Did you know ....Blue Jays

  1. #1
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    Did you know ....Blue Jays

    For any bird lovers out there and i am thinking of the flying kind I just found out that the blue color in a Blue Jays wings are not from pigment but a result of the light passing through the structure of the feathers. Guess we learn something every day. My son was delighted to be the teacher in this case.
    cheers

  2. #2
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    Interesting, did not know that. Always enjoyed watching them search for food. They kind of remind you of batman dropping down to the ground, very swift and direct, not much swooping.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  3. #3
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    my perception of them is they are bully's, kicking out other birds from getting there share of the food offered.. always liked there coloration no matter how it happens though
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Wright View Post
    Interesting, did not know that. Always enjoyed watching them search for food. They kind of remind you of batman dropping down to the ground, very swift and direct, not much swooping.
    Yeah Darren my first experience of them was when i brought the family to Canada on holiday way before we even considered moving here. We took a RV drive from Calgary into the rockies and along the way back stopped off at this fantastic lodge. It was late fall and no one around so we had a spot right next to this emeral lake. Well Linda prepared some waffles for breakfast and put them out on the camp table. When we were done we went inside and had left one on a plate on the table. This Blue Jay dived down and picked up that whole square waffle without batting an eyelid before we could even say 123.
    cheers

  5. #5
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    Okay, Rob, but what are the blue feathers that are scattered all over my deck now that the Coopers Hawk had his morning meal today?

    For the ground-feeding birds, I always scatter some sunflower seeds on the deck in winter. It brings in jays, cardinals and juncos by the dozens, and the occasional hawk takes advantage of the resulting 'smorgasbord." Hey, they've gotta eat, too - and once in a while they'll get a vole or a chipmunk instead of a bird.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DeLaney View Post
    Okay, Rob, but what are the blue feathers that are scattered all over my deck now that the Coopers Hawk had his morning meal today?

    For the ground-feeding birds, I always scatter some sunflower seeds on the deck in winter. It brings in jays, cardinals and juncos by the dozens, and the occasional hawk takes advantage of the resulting 'smorgasbord." Hey, they've gotta eat, too - and once in a while they'll get a vole or a chipmunk instead of a bird.
    My wife used to put out bird feeders every winter to help the birds through the winter. Then one winter we watch about 5 birds become lunch to some hawks. Wife quit putting out the bird feeders. I told her the hawk was more merciful than starvation but she still hasn't resorted to putting the birds feeders out again.
    Ken
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fitzgerald View Post
    My wife used to put out bird feeders every winter to help the birds through the winter...
    We keep feeders out year-round, and spend probably forty bucks a month on seeds and suet. There are times when there are well over a hundred birds in the yard - maybe fifteen or twenty different kinds.

    We often have deer browsing under the feeders at night, and on one occasion (early this spring) a bear has torn the feeders down. Plenty of squirrels and racoons, too - and oh yeah, flying squirrels at night, too. We get a lot of enjoyment out of watching the wildlife, and often just sit by the window watching nature's wonders.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

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    Quote Originally Posted by larry merlau View Post
    my perception of them is they are bully's, kicking out other birds from getting there share of the food offered.. always liked there coloration no matter how it happens though
    Agreed, they are a somewhat more colorful and smaller version of a Magpie. Although I reckon they are also pretty darn smart (as are magpies - I think magpies are actually quite a bit smarter even than the blue jays) - which is a good part of what makes them so annoying; but also makes them more interesting to watch. At the last house the magpies used to taunt our dogs, a whole flock of them would sit up in a tree and fly down one by one to sneak up behind him in turns getting pretty close then going Blah Blah Blah and flying up as soon as he turned around. The rest in the tree would cackle like maniacs everytime it happened, I'm pretty sure they were actually laughing. I always thought they were kind of neat although their ability to watch where you plant the corn/peas and individually identify every single last seed location for later is beyond annoying. If you're in magpie country and you see them just "hanging out all casual like" in the trees while you're planning the garden figure on putting some wire over the rows or it'll be all gone in a day.

    When we moved to this house we didn't have magpies but lots of blue jays and the dog will run out and chase them out of the waterfall/pond whenever he sees them. Leaves all of the other birds alone, just the Jays. I reckon he figures he's getting back for all of the trouble their bigger cousins caused him.

    Worse for stealing food are the Grey Jays (what we called camp robbers, although apparently Clark's Nutcracker's are also known by that name). When I was a kid the first school I went to was out in the boonies (a bit less than 20 people grades 1-12) and we'd eat outside a lot in the summer and I remember they would be down and on a sandwich before your back was even fully turned. Are you sure it was a Blue Jay and not one of these little thieves that got your waffle Rob (not saying blue jays aren't thieves as well... so it could have been but they are generally a bit more reserved)? They look somewhat similar but are a bit smaller and less brilliantly blue.

  9. #9
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    Ryan that dog story is worthy of a article in readers digest with a cartoon. It must have been fun to watch.

    Jim they say if you take the feather and crush it then the structure that filters the light goes and the color goes so i would be eager to see what you find out with the blue feathers in your yard. I was a bit skeptical when i first heard this as it came to me from my youngest son who currently thinks he is the brains of the family so i checked up and its supposedly true. I would still like to get a feather and prove the point. I like factual data.
    cheers

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    Ryan that dog story is worthy of a article in readers digest with a cartoon. It must have been fun to watch.
    Yeah I felt sort of bad about not rescuing him, but he was in no real danger and I was laughing to hard to really function very well I do wish I'd had a video camera..

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