Sunday, June 13, 2010

Bloodthirtsty Blue Jay

This weekend I was sitting on my back patio, eating breakfast & enjoying the warm weather outside.

To my surprise, a Blue Jay flew onto a branch within my line of vision, behind my woodpile in my back yard. I could see it had something hanging out of it's mouth & at first I thought it was a mouse. Then, I saw wings & a beak and realized it was a smaller bird it must have killed then carried to the tree. This really threw me off, because I thought birds like that only ate seeds or insects.

The blue jay held the dead bird on the branch & started pecking at it's chest. Feathers started dropping as the jay ripped off pieces, putting some of them aside on the branch.

At this point I was totally intrigued by this crazy sight. I walked slowly toward my woodpile until I was about 10 feet away & kept watching from up close. Soon, the blue jay started pulling off little chunks of bright pink meat while picking at every piece of the dead bird. A couple times a piece of flesh dropped to the ground, so the jay would leave the little carcass on the branch & swoop down to retrieve it.

Eventually the smaller bird was torn apart, with most of it eaten by the blue jay. I tried to get a picture of the scene, but the gruesome avian massacre was over & the jay flew away.

Even though I live on a highway in the middle of my town, my backyard in the summer becomes green and alive like Wild Kingdom. When it's nice out I can sit out there all day enjoying sights & sounds of nature. This particular episode with the blue jay was slightly grisly, but was interesting nonetheless.

I've also seen all kinds of other animals in my yard/driveway: rabbits, snakes, chipmunks, large muskrats, & even wild turkeys (which are actually fairly common in the area, but not usually in my yard).

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