The Current Normal – Naked as a Jay Bird

Now that I have your attention, with my catchy title, no nudity is actually involved.

The phrase “naked as a jaybird” was first recorded in English in 1843 and replace the old one of “naked as a robin”. Nobody knows the origin of this phrase, for sure.


My guess is it may relate to the fact that somebody saw a jay when they were molting their feathers. The first time I saw a Blue Jay with no head feathers, I assumed incorrectly that he was injured or sick.

Molting uses a lot of energy and is generally timed to avoid breeding and migration periods.


The scenario described below plays out every year at this time, when my burr oak acorns reach just the right degree of tastiness. Blue Jays flock to enjoy the tasty acorns, the squirrels get peed off and come to claim their rights and the battle rages on, until the tree has been picked clean. Meanwhile acorns and shells litter my lawn, waiting to become projectiles when I next mow.

While I caught the mother jay calling her wee ones, I did not capture photos from the altercation described below, which ebbed and flowed quite quickly.

Naked as a Jay Bird

You haughtily call out from your perch on high,

amidst tree leaves of green below bright blue sky.

Your calls signal food to your recently born,

soon they arrive to feast on burr oak acorn.

But, one little thought in your head did not whirl,

said acorns belong to feisty red squirrel.

Your wee bairns alight and soon they are feasting,

when a red blur arrives with this wee beastie.

Poor little Blue Jays know not what they should do,

when fierce little rodent jumps out and shouts boo.

Chastened wee jays soon retreat from burr oak tree,

one chattering squirrel spoiling their eating spree.

These photos were taken on September 9, 2020.

c’mon kids, the coast is clear
where the heck are those little brats?
maybe if I scream in this direction, they’ll hear me
here they come, the coast is still clear
what is that chattering sound I hear

12 thoughts on “The Current Normal – Naked as a Jay Bird

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