In the last month or so I’ve had Stellar’s Jays coming to the yard. Their regal blue is even more vivid than Scrub Jays’, and they rock a pretty bad-ass mohawk. I have to admit I was already smitten with the Scrub Jays. Their impudent intelligence just stole my heart. For example, the feeder used to have whole peanuts in it until Mr. Scrub Jay figured out he could sweep all the other seeds to the ground until a peanut came out. Quickly tiring of the huge mess on my patio, I put out a separate basket of peanuts.
Mr. Scrub Jay accepted my compromise and used the hanging basket of peanuts: carefully hopping from fence, to planter, to hanging basket. I’m sure Punk Rock Jay watched the clever Mr. Scrub Jay hopping into the hanging basket of peanuts then tried it himself but couldn’t balance on the tiny tipping ledge. Punk Rock Jay is good at a lot of things, but that isn’t one of them. Now that I’ve obviously shown my bias toward the Scrub Jay I’ll tell you what Punk Rock Jay is good at:
1. Looking awesome – he has great style. The blue of his feathers reminds me of a silk shirt that Prince probably wore while touring for Purple Rain. And did I mention that he has a mohawk?!
2. Imitating other sounds. We started hearing a Red-tail Hawk around the same time Punk Rock Jay showed up. When all the other birds would disappear and Punk Rock Jay would come out, prancing all over the backyard like he owns the place, we realized he was imitating the hawk.
3. Accepting his lot. Since Punk Rock Jay never figured out how to balance on the peanut basket he just eats from the feeder like the other birds. After a few humiliating afternoons trying to balance on the peanut basket he gave up – he probably heard me and the other birds laughing at him. But he doesn’t make a mess of the feeder, and when I sprinkle peanuts on the ground he grabs them and always says “Thanks” (being a Punk Rock Jay, it actually sounds more like “F – you,” but I just figure that’s the same thing.)