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.