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Old 01-23-2012, 03:44 PM   #31
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Yes recurve, it really helps to look at the range maps when trying to ID, with Tree Sparrows we're about the farthest southeast they go in the winter. Our most common winter sparrow is the White-throated Sparrow which are so easily identified by the yellow near the beak but I admit I often overlook sparrows because of their plain colors. I really should appreciate them more.
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Old 01-23-2012, 04:22 PM   #32
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After the rain stopped, I went out on the balcony with the peanuts. As soon as I threw some down to the ground, 4 or 5 Blue Jays magically appeared in the treeline! Then they fly to the roof before floating down to the ground within steps of a peanut!

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Old 01-23-2012, 04:42 PM   #33
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How do they know???

We were just remarking how we haven't seen any or at least very few Blue Jays this winter, weird. Maybe it's been too warm?
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Old 01-23-2012, 04:47 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sage View Post
After the rain stopped, I went out on the balcony with the peanuts. As soon as I threw some down to the ground, 4 or 5 Blue Jays magically appeared in the treeline! Then they fly to the roof before floating down to the ground within steps of a peanut!

Attachment 28063
Nice blue jay...but I especially like the lichens covered trunks among the tangle of branches.

Nice to know that you are finding a way to feed the birds after all.
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Old 01-23-2012, 04:52 PM   #35
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How do they know???

We were just remarking how we haven't seen any or at least very few Blue Jays this winter, weird. Maybe it's been too warm?

Equilibrium has mentioned that blue jays are being hit hard by West Nile virus--at least where she lives. I on the other hand seem to have quite a few. Jeff even mentioned the other day the he'd spotted at least half a dozen coming to the seed I put out. (I use black oil sunflower seeds exclusively...well, maybe I throw some nuts out on occasion too.)
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Old 01-23-2012, 04:53 PM   #36
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The Blue Jays here are most visible in the winter and I wonder too just how they know I'm throwing peanuts from the balcony! They immediately fly in to the back of the yard from elsewhere.

When I lived in Fort Myers, FL earlier, I would go out every morning and stick peanuts in crevices in the stone front of the condo. Immediately, Blue Jays flew in from wooded areas across the street. If I forgot or was even "late", one Blue Jay would come and perch atop the lantern outside the patio door and screech loudly til I brought out the peanuts!
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Old 01-23-2012, 04:56 PM   #37
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When I lived in Fort Myers, FL earlier, I would go out every morning and stick peanuts in crevices in the stone front of the condo. Immediately, Blue Jays flew in from wooded areas across the street. If I forgot or was even "late", one Blue Jay would come and perch atop the lantern outside the patio door and screech loudly til I brought out the peanuts!

LOL! ~smile~ I've heard of birds tapping on windows or something to get the attention of the human who had been feeding them. I've yet to encounter that boldness...yet.
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Old 01-23-2012, 04:57 PM   #38
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I often wondered why the northern Blue Jays would love peanuts so much when they certainly are not native to this area. In the summer, the jays have competition from the squirrels and chipmunks down on the ground. They also know fast that peanuts have arrived!
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:07 PM   #39
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I just read about West Nile and Blue Jays, I came across this Ohio blog that believes the cause of a decline in Blue Jays here is less dire, just a lack of acorns due to a very low mast year in our area anyway.

From the blog Ohio Birds and Biodiversity:

So, whatís going on this winter? Many Ohioans have reported seeing few if any blue jays, especially in the extensively forested regions of southern and eastern Ohio. West Nile Virus had a detrimental impact on this species back in the early 2000s, and some fear that West Nile has reared its ugly head once again.

Fortunately, the answer to our current shortage of jays is probably much less scary than the ravages of disease. When not plundering your feeders, blue jays are highly dependent upon the nuts of oak trees Ė acorns. These hard, woody fruit are like vegetative M & Ms to a jay, and collectively, blue jays harvest staggering numbers of acorns in fall and winter. Fully two thirds of a jayís diet at this time is comprised of acorns and other tree mast such as hickories and beechnuts.

Oaks are cyclical in their production of acorns: there are boom and bust years. In 2008, scads of acorns were produced, and jays seemed to be everywhere. Last seasonís acorn crop was pretty lean, especially in southern Ohio. As a consequence, there was less food for blue jays, and thus fewer screaming bolts of blue in our woodlands. Next winter, itíll likely be a different story.
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:07 PM   #40
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I often wondered why the northern Blue Jays would love peanuts so much when they certainly are not native to this area. In the summer, the jays have competition from the squirrels and chipmunks down on the ground. They also know fast that peanuts have arrived!
I guess they are opportunistic in what they eat...and they like a rare treat, like we humans do.

I have no idea how they can know about peanuts being put out for the first time. It almost makes me think they can smell them!
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