Bluejays at the safflower feederEvery year we have had a blue jay or two visit the backyard. In spite of their pretty colors they have generally not been very welcome due to poor table manners. They would land on our platform feeder full of safflower and systematically empty it by sweeping the seed onto the ground until there was none. Day after day. It was as if they were convinced, despite invariable experience to the contrary, that some avian ambrosia lay under this layer of white dross. The cardinals seemed just as happy to pick the seed from the ground as the platform but happier were the creatures we had not intended feeding such as our damnable groundhog. Also it was discouraging to fill the feeder’s tall reservoir in the morning to last half the week and see it empty by afternoon. So when this year four or five of the thugs appeared we were less than pleased only to be surprised that they were neatly and politely eating the safflower.

Jay nesting in eglantineThat behavior made us much better inclined towards the pair that chose to nest within the thorny canes of our sheltering eglantine. After taking a few initial pictures we left them in quiet peace, which ended when the clutch of eggs shownBlue Jay Eggs was replaced by a shrill choir of gaping beaks whose repertoire consisted entirely of variations on the theme of “More!” As background music goes we found it cute and pleasant but then we were not the ones obligated to rush about and try stilling it with food.

Then Monday some grey, slightly crested bird glancingly thumped off a window to perch in the big maple. More fuzzy than feathery it seemed not quite finished becoming a bird, let alone being ready to attempt flight but, after a moment of regathering its wits, it fluttered out of sight higher in the tree presumably to again take to the air. Going to the eglantine, we found blooms around an empty nest.

Good luck to you, our one-time tenants. Ware the window pane’s deceptions and mind your manners at the feeder.

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