It's been a very eventful spring off the edge of the deck. I was passing by one of the arborvitae back in early April when I came across this:
A few days later there were five bluejay eggs in the nest. The mom sat there and sat there - even when I was just going by the tree with the mower, she wouldn't leave. Finally one day I took a peek and there was a pile of ugly gray wrinkly stuff. And it wasn't too much longer before the ugly gray stuff got some fluff, along with some eyes and beaks opening up to check out the world.
I know there were initially five eggs, but I've only seen four babies - I don't know if the mom kicked an egg out, or if something else came along and swiped one?
It was just a week or so ago when I looked in the nest and started seeing their feathers forming. Sometimes when I'd peek in the nest I'd catch most of them napping...
...and sometimes they thought I was there to feed them.
Things moved forward pretty quick this week - I'd look and find them sitting on the edge of the nest, in the branches of the tree, etc.
Only that's when the babies would start getting clumsy - they're still not ready to fly, and it seemed like they were playing king of the mountain - either one would bump another out, or my looking would spook one and they'd jump out of the tree.
Brett kept telling me to just leave them alone, but how could you resist taking a peek!?
Yesterday's when things started getting really crazy. One would jump out, and then you'd chase it all over the yard (and the neighbor's yard)...
...and as soon as you'd try to get it back in the tree...
...another would pop out. Trust me, these guys aren't flying yet. Flapping and making a lot of noise, yes. Sorta getting in the air a little, yes. But flying? Nope.
And then Doogie ate one.
I'm just kidding!!
We left the bluejay situation yesterday with three (including my favorite, the runt) in the nest, and one in the adjacent tree. Every time I tried to get one back in the nest, another would pop out. So I started just tossing them to the tree with the nest, and they'd go over, or alongside the correct tree. Finally when the last one was in the next tree over, I figured I needed to leave well enough alone.
This morning when I took a look, only one was in the nest, and the one in the adjacent tree was still there.
A short while later as I was walking around the yard I came across this...
I'd been spotted! (Oh, and the parents were making a loud fuss as well!)
So I just left him/her there. He's so far away from the nest.
He can't fly. But I'm afraid if I go after him he'll end up in the pond. Maybe being out and hopping around is the encouragement he needs to actually take flight. He was trying to get up on the bench, but can't get up that high yet. I think the only real predators back there are going to be the hawk (which I'm sure the parents are chasing away this week), and the occasional siting of a cat that sits at the back of the pond. And I don't know where the fourth baby is - I figure it's probably hiding in the shrubs somewhere. The whole time I sat up on the deck watching I didn't see the parents come down and feed the baby - I don't know if they do that once the babies have left the nest, even if they're not able to fly?
Good luck little guys! (Maybe if I still see him down later, I'll try and catch him - we'll see...)
Monday, May 31, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
I've been getting a number of emails, blog comments, comments through other friends, etc about me getting behind on the blog lately. We've, uh, had a lot going on around here at home... I'm planning to get back to all of this (promise!), but in the meantime, here's some teaser images of some of the fun stuff that's been going on. I'll post more soon!