A Kind of Blue

Blue Jay
Blue Jay   © 2013 by Gary Donaldson

The color palette of Wisconsin winters can be pretty monotonous -whites and grays.  That’s why it’s so enjoyable to observe the blue jay this time of year.  It’s like a tropical bird somehow took a wrong turn and ended up at 45° North latitude.   Their brilliant blue coloring and loud squawk is something one would expect while birding in a rainforest – not Wisconsin in February.

Many blue jays gather in flocks ahead of the approaching winter and migrate south to warmer climates.  But for some reason, others decide to stay in their summer home-range and ride the winter out.  The occasional blue jay has been visiting our feeder and taking a sunflower or two from the ground.  However, this week I sweetened the pot by putting whole corn (shelled) in a flat, open feeder and sprinkling some on the ground.  It didn’t take long for the word to get out.  Today there were 4 blue jays eating corn off the ground at a pace that would rival the chickens.

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6 comments on “A Kind of Blue

  1. I have not had Blue Jays but it is good to have the Red Poll back. Last year so many friends reported finding them dead near the feeders. This year also the Hoary Red Poll have joined the relatives. Thanks for the Red Dotting.

    • Hi Audrey, Red polls are beautiful as well! Unlike the chickadees that seem to come in a 2 or 3 at a time, the red polls visit the feeder area in a mob and fly off at the same time in a startle.

  2. Our Blue Jays are very athletic, managing to hold onto the pegs of the cone feeder just long enough to grab a sunflower seed or standing on top of the suet feeder and reaching down to grab some. Our chickens pop over to the feeders several times a day to catch a snack.

    • Hi Lucia, I would love to have cardinals coming to the feeder – we had a pair last spring for about a month before they moved on. Our location is pretty wooded which is not ideal for cardinals, apparently. Maybe I’ll get out for a hike and try to photograph a cardinal.

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