31 May 2008

Momma, Feed Me, or I'm Gonna Die!

Credit: Gareth Leung

The juvenile Blue Jays are being weened this week. I can tell this because of all the racket, and the odd behavior. First, the adult Blue Jay can mimic an average of 2,000 calls and sounds from other birds. The juvenile can only make two sounds: A plaintive "Squawk" it repeats constantly, or shrieking. Now the juvenile shrieks, and shrieks a lot during this week, because the adults gradually ignore them so that they can feed themselves, and become independent. Mostly what I have been seeing, (and hearing, Arrrgh!) is the juveniles following around the parents flapping their wings and begging. Early on, the juvenile gets a little too anxious, and the adult has to whip its ass. This is not a pleasant thing to see or hear. Just a note: This shrieking comes in handy later in life. Whenever the Jays are nesting, they are a communally protective bunch. Whenever there is a Hawk or other predator nearby hunting for a meal, the Jays raise the alarm in large numbers. It can be deafening. I have seen the Hawk have its meal anyway, but the Jays surely save some of their young. There is much shreiking going on here. As far as the weening goes, hurry up and get it over with.

(This post was partially inspired by the lovely bird illustrations over, here.)
Momma, Feed Me, or I'm Gonna Die!
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Anne said...

He he, growing up is hard for everyone. Hope you're having a nice weekend sir Hillbilly... I can hear Bruce Springsteen live from my balcony!!
Thanks for kind words and links!

Hillbilly said...

Ah, then I bet yer weekend is going Boss. I hope so.
I was just correcting a spelling mistake and adding something when you rang, hoping you wouldn't see. Oh well. Have a good 'un.

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