Scrub Jay Flock

Western Scrub Jay First:


As always (weather permitting) I took 3 cups of bird seed up to my garden pavilion with a brew in each of my hoodie pockets. 

I love my afternoon contact with “the real world”. 

Western Scrub Jays are not flock birds.  They are fiercely territorial and chase each other away.  I have perhaps five or six permanent Jays in my bird colony.  I accommodate by feeding in multiple locations. 

Saw my first dark hooded Junko of the fall season! 

Life is filled with “firsts”.  I don’t remember when my potty training took and I first used a toilet on my own.  I do remember the first time I purchased adult diapers.  Life is filled with firsts.

The sky outside my garden swing pavilion darkened with the incoming shadow of a large flock of sizable birds.  They  kept coming.  The first wave landed on my stair railing and bridge to the roof.  Several waves came.  They were Western Scrub Jays,  perhaps 60 of them all at once in a flock.  I have never seen such an animated carpet of blue. 

I went for more bird seed.  The birds scattered but returned and were soon pecking the feed inches from each other in a huge colorful cluster.  They were EATING the seed.  This is unusual because my resident Jays fill their mouths with the choice bits and go bury it. 

I could tell my locals from the flock because they knew the isolated outlying seed locations. 

It was pretty amazing. 

I went for even more bird seed and the camera.  This was a remarkable event worthy of sharing.  I scattered seed on the steps where the sun was hitting and sat with my camera back on the swing. 

They never came back. 

This link reports that “they are often found in flocks in the winter”.  Really?  I have never seen or heard friends report such behavior before. 

Sometimes I love my life.  Wish you were here.

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12 Responses to Scrub Jay Flock

  1. david says:

    so great to be in the moments of life and blog about it….an inspiration…

  2. Cary says:

    Ahhhh, they entered your day and made you “re-think” everything you thought you knew about them. Enlightenment through nature is a wonderful teacher, and so are you for sharing your life when life’s little “happenings” happen. Thanks Lynden, love you lots!!!!!

    • osolynden says:

      Hi Cary! It’s odd how they don’t all adhere to the same pattern. I suppose my Jays have food and water and don’t need to “flock up”? Having discovered me, will the flock return?

      Stay tuned for more exciting old man in the desert adventures…. 😉

  3. It’s very interesting to know there is different bluejays. And the behavior you’ve described is not like the ones here. They are fun creatures to watch. The ones here in Florida say my name Keely. Seriously, it’s their hunger call, so I was told. I grew up with my uncle RC teasing me about it. We have several species of birds that stay all year around and some just certain seasons like some kind of endangered cranes. When in my hammock in evening there is a lovely couple, been around four years now, of doves. They do have a routine and certain places they will perch on only. We have an eagle couple, they are very loud and noisy when visiting this side of the forest. My favorites is the hummingbirds and finches. And if you got my email, we are finding out tomorrow if we are being moved on other side of the 300arce ranch by a lake to become ranch hands…there are peacocks there. I love how they sound.

    but just recently the day before yesterday, I lost my favorite bird, my last silkie named Tinker. Even some of our Cubalaya’s are missing. And now my cat is missing after we let him out yesterday morning, he just disappeared. Mike thinks we have a predator, like a raccoon. We have been seeing coyotes and foxes too, but I think we have a bobcat. The chicken coop smelled like cat urine! I went out yesterday evening looking, walking the property, calling for my cat, Tac. He is 15yrs old. I’m so worried!!! Mike made a temporary fence in front yard for my little dogs to use at night in for the potty. SIGHHHH!

    I will email what happens tomorrow night. So exciting but scared at same time.

    • osolynden says:

      Yes, I had no idea how different the birds would be here in the Southwest when I first arrived, but they certainly are.

      Do let me know your news.

      So sorry you need to worry for your critters.

      • I forgot to mention, we live between to state forest parks and they’ve been clearing some of the trees off the land. So many animals, reptiles, bugs, you name it has been coming thru to make it to the other side to another forest. Maybe that’s why all the sudden too, all these predators are around, being brave. We will just hold up and make special arrangements till they pass.

        • osolynden says:

          🙂 I am so glad they left room for you between two state parks. What a lovely and rare place. Yes, if they are cutting trees they are messing with habitat.

          We got thunder and 10 drops of rain today…. !


  4. Ishbel says:

    What stunning plumage.

    Sadly, most of our birds are drab.. Except for the robins and finches – Oh, and not forgetting kingfishers on our rivers. My favourite bird here is the puffin. They are such funny little things, and always make me smile when i visit coastal areas.

    I am always amazed at the beautiful colourings of birds in Australia. Flocks of lorakeets swooping into my sister’s farm when the soil is moved. Beautiful!

    • osolynden says:

      Hi sweetie!

      Of course Australia’s snakes are mostly so drab…. 😉 but we can’t fault them for not having colorful birds. Here is a Lorikeet:
      lorikeet photo Rainbow_lorikeet_zps7a8e5adf.jpg

      My faves here are the Towhees. Drab as all get out, but personality plus. They have a brightly colored cousin I sometimes see but the personality isn’t there.

  5. Ishbel says:


    Foxes have killed a couple of the ravens in the Tower of London. Legend has it that when the numbers of ravens declines below a certain number, the Monarchy will fall. Luckily they keep a few spares around for such eventualities!

    Thanks for the photie of the lorakeet. Along with cockatoos, they steal the young fruits from my bro in law’s carefully nurtured fruit trees!

    • osolynden says:

      Yes gasp… The number is 6 according to the internet and if that fox had been one bird hungrier it would have been all over. Of course if they hadn’t clipped their wings…

      Here in the high desert we have to “net” our fruit trees if we hope to save it from the hungry wildlife. Of course with our unpredictable late freezes we only get fruit every 7 years or so… Thank goodness for the farmer’s market… 😉

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