The Story Of A Crafty Jay
BTB, or Before The Bear as I like to refer to it, I was really enjoying the bird feeders off the back of our deck and watching all the different types of birds and their dramas play out each day.
Recently I began hearing the familiar keeeee-aar call of a Red-Tailed Hawk. This peaked my interest because I thought maybe I would be lucky enough to photograph the hawk grabbing a meal from the feeders. I’d been hearing it every day for a week or so, and I’d go to the window and scan the canopies and branches. Nothing. Still, I’d wait and watch.
Then I finally realized a coinky-dink.
Every time I would hear the red-tail call, there would be a flurry of little song birds happily devouring seeds. They too would hear and promptly heed the call and scatter to the dense canopy covers.
Once the bird feeders were devoid of feathered competition and crowding, a crafty little Blue Jay would appear on the scene.
There are plenty of examples of birds mimicking different sounds, like chainsaws & cameras, for example. I wasn’t aware Blue Jays partook in the cunning play. Turns out it’s common trick of theirs to mimic hawks. For sound reference, here is a YouTube video I found online of a captive one mimicking a Red-Tail. It’s a clever way to safeguard food.