Tuesday, May 26, 2009

B.J. the baby blue jay

I saved B.J. the baby blue jay from a prowling cat in a neighbor's yard.

After chasing the cat off and collecting the baby bird, I scanned for the nest to see if I could put him back. But the trees in that area were way too tall, and there weren't any bushes nearby.

I decided to take him home because it looked like he only needed a couple more days of flight practice before he'd be able to fend for himself. He already had all his flight feathers; he was just really awkward.

He started out cute enough. But baby birds need to be fed pretty frequently... and baby blue jays SCREAM for food!
Scream scream scream!!

Scream some more!!!!

Your finger looks like a big worm! Scream!!!

When we dropped him in an aquarium full of crickets, his mouth became too full to scream. This was a twice-daily ritual while he was still ground-bound. (He also got mealworms.)

In three days, B.J. had learned to fly and was cruising all over our yard. I stopped feeding him; it was time for him to grow up.

But B.J. was accustomed to being waited on, so he still hung around our house SCREAMING for crickets and mealworms.

When you walked out the back door, there was B.J., sitting on the grill. He'd start screaming as soon as you appeared, and wouldn't let up until you went back inside.

He screamed in your ear while riding on your shoulder.

He screamed at you from the lawn mower handle WHILE you were mowing the lawn.

He even screamed at the dogs while clinging to their backs.

Finally, about a week later, I guess he got the hint: no more handouts! We saw him less and less, and one day he just disappeared altogether.

I hope he found a nice mate and had some lovely children.


Anonymous said...

they can become very attached. If you had kept feeding it ou would have had a pet bird with no cage!

EmilyS said...

I watched a baby bluejay recently fledged, so I can tell you that they do the same thing (SCREAM!!!) to their bird-moms too, so don't feel bad!

PoochesForPeace said...

Ahh, you're strong for not giving him anything- I would've given in :) I hope he made it out in the real world!

susan said...

This is great. I raised a couple of herds of baby turtles but never a bird. By the time I get to them it's usually too late (bad cat).

Dennis the Vizsla said...

My wife's family had a blue jay that they rescued when she was a kid. He lived out his days with them. His name was Chester and he would mimic the answering machine by going "beeeeeep" when someone would call. Also he would sit in his cage and screech until someone came to check on him, then he would stop and blink at them.

Or so I'm told.