The Current Normal – Birdie Child Care

Later on, during the same day that I noticed the Blue Jay babies fluttering and walking around next door, without obvious parental supervision, I watched a fracas develop outside my family room window, in the early evening.

I saw an adult Blue Jay fluttering up and down from my Schubert Chokecherry and assumed that it was trying to keep another bird away from its wayward babies.

On closer inspection, it was not at all what I thought. Sitting on my lawn was a juvenile Merlin Falcon, looking scared and hopping about like he was hurt. When I walked across my lawn the next day, I found a sparrow body. He had actually had some hunting success and was protecting his meal, when the jay came at him.

I grabbed my camera and headed outdoors to capture these July 26, 2020 shots…

I want my Mommy
Are you my Mommy?
Maybe if I think small, the Blue Jay will not notice me.

…before the Merlin made a break for it, while the Blue Jay was distracted by my appearance. What had been happening previously is that each time the Merlin tried to fly away, the Blue Jay would attack it in air. Now, before you say, poor baby Merlin, there were several reasons the Blue Jay was attacking:

  1. Throughout late spring/early summer, the adult Merlins would harass the Blue Jays, and Crows, etc. mercilessly, any time they came within 100 meters of Casa Merlin. Many a time, I would see a Blue Jay streaking through my back yard followed by a screeching adult Merlin in jet fighter mode. So, turn about is fair play, I guess.
  2. The 2 newly fledged Blue Jays were still in vulnerable positions in or near my back yard. Baby Merlin had already likely been trained to hunt, but even, if not, Momma Jay was taking no chances and possibly felt it was her turn to protect the nest.

After the departure of the Merlin, things settled down a bit and I assume it made it home safely to its nest.

The next morning, I could here the mewling of baby Blue Jays in my Mugo Pine and went back to take a look.

These photos were taken on July 27, 2020.

On the first visit, the non flying juvenile was hidden near the main trunk and looked around balefully, as I approached.

You are not my Mommy.

It did not take long, before I heard the flap of wings and Momma Jay landed in a tree above my head. She was there to protect her youngster and I had no doubt, I would have been a target, had I come any closer.

Don’t make a move.
I got my eye on you.

We departed for a morning bike ride before the expected +32 daily high came along. On our return, the mewling had doubled and I again popped back for a look. Flying sister was visiting her scared stationary brother in the Mugo. On my arrival, sis left her brother to fend for himself and flew off.

The little guy was obviously getting tired of trying to stay balanced on the branch and was now wedged in the crotch of the tree.

No Mommy came to help this time, so she must have been off hunting for food.

Don’t see me, please don’t see me!
Why didn’t I pay more attention to Mom’s flying instructions?
This blue palette setting shot shows only a bit of blue on the chick.
7:00 PM, still waiting for Dad to put my training wings on.
Adult drawing me away. They had been busy ferrying food to their babes as they moved around.

I expect the mewling will go on for another day or so, before junior again tries to spread his tiny wings and fly away. Mother Nature always puts on a good show.

10 thoughts on “The Current Normal – Birdie Child Care

  1. Aren’t the baby birds super cute? Sooner or later baby birds are going to find their way into your world. It’s bound to happen if you’re a bird watcher or nature lover. It’s an incredible experience to watch them go through different phases, from eggs to nestling and then to fledgling. Thanks for sharing such fantastic photos and have a good day. Aiva

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Aiva. Hope you have lovely Irish weather today and on the weekend. Fall has arrived here and it has been windy and cool. Up to +23 here tomorrow and then cool and rainy on the weekend. Fingers crossed for a bit more bird watching and cycling yet, before the snow flies. The Merlins are long gone now and the jays come back infrequently. I imagine they are all prepping for their big trip. Thanks for reading and commenting. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

    1. They were not yet bashful enough to avoid posing. A few weeks later, they are back in the yard and you can hear their voices changing, like a teenager. Imagine they will fly away soon. Thanks for reading Ann. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

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