The cry of a red-tailed hawk late on a summer afternoon, the zip of a hummingbird by my head, the sweet, fluting call of the golden-crowned sparrow as it winters in my garden, these are all lovely to hear.
Now, considering how swell birds can be, you’d think that a bird with blue feathers would be delightful and charming. Feathers that are BLUE! You also might think that tiny blue birdies in a tiny baby nest just outside your bedroom window would be SO CUTE.
Alas, those would be incorrect thoughts.
We have baby blue jays just outside our bedroom every year, TWICE a year, because these winged blue rats are not only rapacious and irritating, but PROLIFIC as well. (The internet says they only raise one clutch a year, but I have seen TWO batches of babies come out of the same nest, year after year. Maybe two sets of parents? I dunno.)
Every spring I start thinking “It shuts its beak or it gets the hose.” But since I’ll never be so cruel as to wash them all out of the camellias, I wake every morning to the dulcet tones of the loud creaking door, the grinding of gravel, the nails-on-slate scrape also known as the bawl of baby blue jays.
The equally raucous adult jays also eat the eggs of other birds, harass our hummingbirds (you know, the birds we actually like) and peck holes in our plums. The only thing I have ever seen them do that I can applaud is eat snails.
The internet told me that they alert other birds to danger, but the internet also tried to say that blue jays don’t kill and eat other birdie babies, either. Hundreds of comments from those who have witnessed jay-violence have proven the internet full of pro-jay propaganda. It’s a scandal!
I’m thinking carefully, trying to formulate a plan that will get them gone without being mean. Maybe rubber snakes…