[texbirds] Where are our peanuts?! - Blue Jays

  • From: "LMarkoff" <canyoneaglej@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <texbirds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2012 09:07:44 -0500

Hi Texbirds,

My Blue Jays were yelling, "Where are our peanuts?!" a moment ago which
jogged my focus from what I was doing.  I scurried outside with the bag of
peanuts saying, "I'm sorry guys, I got distracted, here you go, good
morning, enjoy!"  They are happier now.

Yes, I still have Blue Jays here in far southwest Austin, and I hope I keep
them.  I lived through the first wave of West Nile when I lived in Virginia
and it was a lonely experience.  There I had 10-15 Blue Jays, year round.
They nested in the woods behind our house.  In winter the populations
shifted and I always suspected my nesting Jays pushed south and more from
the north filled their place.  I believed this because certain individuals
with notable characteristics, such as one with a bad leg, would disappear
during winter and reappear as nesting season approached.  I don't know if
the Jays here shift, but I have them year round as well.  I usually have
about 6.

Here I only see an occasional American Crow.  When I hear one I smile and
start looking for it and greet it happily.  In Virginia before West Nile I
had loads of American Crows in my woods/yard.  They nested there sometimes
and in winter I could have a hundred hanging around during the day.  At
night they would head to mega-roosts of thousands of Crows.  As
with the Blue Jays, the Crows disappeared as well.

Of course, the Crows disappearance had some help from the powers that be,
for they were exterminating Crows due to people complaining about the
mega-roosts.  At that time the term West Nile hadn't yet appeared on the
general public's radar.  So there were the Corvids trying to fight off
West Nile, and there was the government exterminating them.  See:
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/regulations/pdfs/nepa/VAcrow.pdf

Is it any wonder all my Corvids disappeared?  I was Corvid-less for several
years.  When they finally showed up in my yard again I just about cried with
joy.

I hope I don't ever have to live through that again.

Lori Markoff
far southwest Austin

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  • » [texbirds] Where are our peanuts?! - Blue Jays - LMarkoff