Sunday, April 10, 2011

Steller's Jay

We have a "cityfolk" condo in Bellingham near my mom. While she's been recuperating, I've been staying with her. I miss the natural setting of my float cabin, but fortunately our condos back up to a protected wetlands that is large enough for evergreens, blackberry brambles, and even two ancient apple trees from an old homestead.

Last Christmas, I got Mom a bird feeder for her porch in hopes it would entice birds from the trees to give her an early morning show from the bedroom. Winter wasn't very active, but with spring there have been a few arrivals. The first was an Oregon Junco. I hope he wasn't on his way to my Powell Lake floating garden!

The second was a Steller's Jay. I've seen them on the bare branches of a dead tree. I guess it isn't a surprise they would discover the feeder early on. My favourite birding site, Cornell's All About Birds, makes the following recommendation to attract jays, "... put out peanuts or other large seeds and nuts as well as suet." Mom's feeder has a place for both.

The distinctive crest of feathers on the crown made identification easy. Steller's Jays form a bonded pair and stay together from season to season. They live in and near forests from low to high elevations. They've adapted to living near humans, scavenging and enjoying bird feeders. In their natural environment, their diet is 2/3 plants and seeds, and 1/3 eggs and tiny critters. Mmm, good eats.

Even if you live in the city, take some time to explore your surroundings. You will be surprised how much "wildlife" you can find. -- Margy


  1. You live in the country in the city.I have seen Steller Jays put five whole unshell peanuts in there mouth then fly off and bury them. My sister found some peanut plants growing in her yard. I don't know if they would have matured or not had she not pulled them up thinking they were weeds.

  2. Those Stellar Jays are handsome birds!

  3. We used to feed the Jays when we lived in North Vancouver and boy oh boy would they get mad if we were ever late with their treats. They are beautiful birds with not so nice squawks.

  4. Stellar's Jays are beautiful birds. We have a creek behind our house that attracts lots of birds. So true that there's a lot of wildlife, even in the city, if we take the time to look.

  5. What a lovely place to live by! That stellar jay is beautiful.

  6. Good for you for appreciating nature in the middle of the city.
    I have been travelling in to volunteer at the Palliative Care Conference, and am grateful to be home.
    Your mom must be truly grateful, too!

    We have a busy highway beside our home. The noise ceases to bother me, I grew up in inner city Toronto. I just look at our trees and relax, knowing *I* don't have to hurry anywhere.

  7. Hi Margy, good to hear from you. Since you are in Bellingham do you see Betty at all? I haven't heard from her at all.
    Blue Jays (Stellar Jays) are not my friends although I do enjoy their antics and mimicry. We used to have English Walnut trees and tthey loved to get to them before we could. MB

  8. Anonymous7:54 AM


    It is very sweet of you to take care of your mother.

    And thank you for the beautiful pictures.

    God bless you and yours.


  9. We have Stellar's Jays here in Northern California too. Many people call them aggressive, but I really like them for their uniqueness and always stand by that. Thay always remind me of late summer.

    Thanks for posting some Stellars Jay facts - I really enjoyed seeing it. Cheers~

  10. I love the beauty of the stellar jays-- but their call is not very beautiful! I try to keep my birdfeeders full, as watching all the different birds is one of my favorite activities.

  11. Where are all the Stellar Jays?

    Every year I have three or four that were regular visitors to my yard. Wake me in the a.m. They would sit at my window, even knock. They would even take peanuts from my hand.

    When walking my dogs I would see and hear them every where.
    But this year,not one has been spotted or heard.

    It is so quite, I sure miss them...

    Lonely in Coquitlam B.C.

  12. Hi Foolajest - It's hard to tell with this strange spring and summer weather. What I am missing are the loons on Powell Lake. We have a pair of red-throated loons who should be farther north, and our common loons are no where to be seen. - Margy


We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy