Empty Nest (SWF)





In this week's backyard news, the orioles have disappeared. As I was getting ready to leave for an appointment one morning last week, I saw the blue jay in the lower branches of the orioles' beech tree. The blue jay nonchalantly jumped from branch to branch, higher and closer to the nest. So clever! So Calculating! I did not witness the fight, but I'm sure it wasn't a long one. And now the nest is empty.

oriole nest


The nest, expertly woven, is still up there, hanging so beautifully and securely from the branches the orioles chose. But the parents are gone. And though I can't see into the nest, I'm certain the eggs are gone as well--breakfast for one hungry blue jay. Eggs and nestlings of other bird species are an important part of a blue jay's diet according to Audubon. It was his opinion that while this may seem to be a distasteful behavior to us, it is helpful in keeping the songbirds from over-populating.

The statement on the University of Pennsylvania's website contradicts this, however. Apparently their researchers feel that the blue jays' raiding the nests of other birds is actually a contributing factor to the decline of the songbird population in recent years.

In any case, I am frustrated. This makes the third nest in our yard that the jays have raided this spring. I don't think there is anything I can do. Perhaps this agressive behavior also stems from them building their nest across the yard and not feeling too neighborly. Incidentally, blue jays are quite tolerant of other blue jay pairs in their territory. That may explain why I have so many.

Hmm, trying to think of the positive...

They are beautiful birds with those stunning azure feathers, white throats and black necklaces. And they are apparently good parents, even to the point of annihilating the competition. Tune in tomorrow for pics of the mother jay feeding one of her nestlings. Ah well, if I can't beat 'em, I might as well enjoy 'em. :)

blue jay sentry photo by Adrienne Zwart
Blue jay sentinal (aka "Dad") in tulip poplar tree.

Comments

Sara G said…
Great photo's.
Happy SWF
Carol said…
Beautiful photos...that empty nest is sad...the jay shot is stunning...even if he is bad...
barb said…
Being a lover of all creatures in nature, great and small, I know how you feel. I lose goslings to the hawks, raccoons and other predators here at my swamp.
Eric said…
Love the last one, great shot!!! Lovely colors!!

Have a nice Skywatch Friday!!

Greetings from the NL
Calm Energy said…
"Look at the birds of the air..." Matt 6:26
Gorgeous pics... love the birds too!
I enjoy my feeders... Watching them is so peaceful...
What kind of camera do you have? I'm shopping for a new one :)
.•:*¨A Wonderful Weekend to you¨*:•.
Maria
So sorry to read about the blue jay's victory! Some birds act so human, eh?
Photo Cache said…
Oh so beautiful images.
Guy D said…
Excellent photos as always.

Have a great weekend
Guy
Regina In Pictures
Babooshka said…
What can I say you all know I;m a bird and nature lover so this gets my goat as we say here, on the lovely images.
Kelly said…
...I can understand your frustration. I've had a few Blue jays destroy our Chipping Sparrow's eggs, but I guess the Blue Jays have to live too. I'll follow your advice...they are especially beautiful in the winter against the white of the snow!
fishing guy said…
Adrienne: What a neat shot of the Bluejay in the tree. You are right that their is nothing to be done and it is a shame it happens. Nature will work things out.
Oh Adrienne, I am so sorry... This is the hardest part of birding. We cannot protect them.

We have alot of Bluejays also---but if they have raided any nests around here, I am not aware of it (thank goodness)...

Hugs,
Betsy
B Squared said…
We have several "pet" Blues, also. They can be quite terror to other nesting birds. They are very aggressive and persistent.
Sanna said…
Beautiful photo! =)

Sometimes it's hard to accept nature for what it is and see the beauty in the brutality that sometimes happen... =/
janice said…
Great pictures! The "Dad" is stunning!

We've watched 2 nests this year, only one survived.
Denise said…
Oh dear, I didn't realize Blue Jays were so aggressive. I always loved them for their feisty nature but obviously not for this. All part of nature's way I guess. Beautiful shots!
Arija said…
Not at all nice of the Blue Jay.
TCKK said…
Beautiful photo of the daddy blue jay!
Janie said…
I knew bluejays were aggressive, but I didn't realize they invaded the nests of other birds. Interesting. Great photos, too.
Anonymous said…
Oh, yes, that hurts. All of nature is like that, even we humans, but it's still unhappy to see a particular instance of it.
Shellmo said…
I feel your pain Adrienne! So far w/ my feeders down, I haven't seen a Blue Jay in my yard and the Mourning Doves and Cardinals are running rampant. At my cabin up north - it seems like the Blue Jays are a little nicer - but I do have more nest boxes with the predator guard on them so the squirrels, jays and grackles can't get to them.
Baruch said…
Very different SWF and so interesting and education at the same time - well done!

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