WESTERN SCRUB JAYS — NORTHERN CALIFORNIA COAST
It all started with two nuts; one being myself & the other one that I fed to the bird...
From the very beginning, I called him Blue (not very original, I know). With a shout of “hey Blue, got some nuts for you,” he’d come flying.
There were times when I’d walk outside and he’d land on my head, letting me know he had been waiting for me. You can imagine the first time this happened… I flew into a tizzy, not knowing exactly who or what had settled on my scalp!
Blue learned to skillfully peck at my office window while squawking to get my attention, knowing fully well I’d bring him his “treat.” I marveled at how he’d carefully bury many of the nuts I offered him, even placing a leaf or small rock over the site perhaps as a marker to remember the location.
For over a year we carried on this relationship until the day Blue brought home a mate. No longer was he so eager to sit on my head but will still, to this day, sit on my knee and eat almonds with ease. (Yes, I’ll admit it… I feed my Scrub-Jays expensive nuts, raspberries too!) Ms. Blue is much more cautious around me, keeping a safe distance but comes close enough to retrieve her share of the nuts.
I was thrilled to one day see a smaller version of the two of them hopping around our yard. Alas, baby Blue had finally arrived! The proud parents had no problem letting me get close while I’m talking and singing to her with the hopes that she will remember me as she grows.
I’ve read that Western Scrub Jays can live up to 13 years or more. I hope this is the case for this family. It has been great fun watching and interacting with them!