Along with summer here, I missed the “baby bird” season, at least the early part of it in July. Caught the tail end of “begging food from parents” season, a truly precious time of year. In August, though, the babies are grown enough to come to the feeder by themselves, and we see hordes of young scrub jays, finches, baby towhees, even doves looking for food. The parents almost seem to have disappeared, but perhaps we aren’t looking closely enough to distinguish them from their nearly-grown offspring.
The scrub jays are hoarding, not eating, and would empty the sunflower seed feeder several times a day if I refilled it. Many years ago, observing our scrub jays this time of year, I put their story into limericks. Can this be a more effective way to do environmental education? Painless, even? It’s certainly more fun!
The Circle of Life
A garrulous bird is the Scrub Jay
He sits and he cackles all day
For sunflower seeds
To meet his winter needs
Then hides them wherever he may.
From sunflower seeds put away
By Scrub Jays against a cold day
And never recovered
My yard is now smothered
With sunflower plants gone astray.
If Scrub Jays could plan while they play
I’m sure they’d be happy to say
These sunflowers reseeding
Are going for feeding
A new crop of Scrub Jays next May.
Scrub Jays were an early topic of this blog, when I started it in March. For photos, see Lining up for breakfast, and for a jay adventure, see A Scrub Jay in the Hand.