Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Grey Stripe

My twin brother M and his wife K are avid birdwatchers and were the first people to teach us the joys of birdwatching. Here we are looking out the back slider at the wonders of our yard, when we first moved to the northwest. (Click on photos for enlargement)
M & K called us the other day to say they have a Western Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma californica) that seems to have adopted them. M said that a very friendly jay that he remembered from last year had returned and seemed to be wanting to get very close and friendly. It flew around them when they went to their cars. It sat on their backyard railing and cooed to them. It moved stones from one place to another, while they watched. It was communicating with them, and it was saying it wanted their attention.
M started calling the bird Grey Stripe, and tried to accommodate the bird's food desires by placing almonds on the railing. The jay came and ate them and then hung around. It squawked and talked at them. It wanted more. So, M tried a few almonds in the palm of his hand, with his hand on the railing. Grey Stripe came and ate from his hand, and then flew off.
So, M thought Grey Stripe just wanted to sit on his hand and eat. He put a few almonds in his palm and held out his hand. K took the picture.

I am hoping that my brother will find some time to write about all of this bird's behaviors for us. It hides food. It uses tools. It has become a part of their family.

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