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April 5, 2012 / Rae Spencer

More from the Blue Jays

Nest complete, the blue jays spend hours on end in the wax myrtles. They defend their honeymoon suite with harsh calls and indignant attacks–innocent warblers fare no better than foraging crows. Rabbits aren’t allowed to graze in the yard, and the merest quiver of a squirrel whisker raises apocalyptic alarm.

Between these bouts of aggression, the lovers perch together and mumble softly to each other. They feed each other, public displays of “affection” that make me wonder about their behavioral chemistries. How does a body cope with such abrupt changes? They interrupt bonding with outbreaks of tumultuous fury, then switch back to bonding, over and over again in the course of a day. In the span of a minute, sometimes. The physiologic stress must be enormous, and yet it seems to work for them. How?

7 Comments

  1. natureandtheenvironment / Apr 5 2012 1:34 PM

    Lovely, just lovely!

  2. selah / Apr 5 2012 1:59 PM

    thanks for your post.. it is so interesting learning about these blue jays.. where we used to live, the crows kept the blue jays away for the most part, and I haven’t seen even one where we live now.

    • Rae Spencer / Apr 5 2012 2:04 PM

      For the first several years in our “new” house, we didn’t see any blue jays. I don’t know what changed, to bring them into our neighborhood, but I’m happy they are here!

  3. Betty Hayes Albright / Apr 5 2012 7:23 PM

    Wonderful photos – so sharp and clear. What beautiful birds! Your blue jays are different from those we have here (ours are completely blue and the tuft on their heads is more prominent).

    • Rae Spencer / Apr 5 2012 8:14 PM

      Thank you! I would love to see a completely blue blue jay…

  4. bardessdmdenton / Apr 12 2012 11:51 AM

    Amazing photos, Rae, and as always, I love what you write about and around them!

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