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…
…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:
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.