[Tweeters] Steller's Jay call and other observations

Lee Rentz lee at leerentz.com
Mon Mar 23 14:40:24 PDT 2009

When I first moved to the Pacific Northwest, I considered the
Steller's Jay call to be one of the harshest bird songs I had ever
heard. I've mellowed a bit as I've come to enjoy these birds, and it
no longer grates on my ears.

Saturday while we were working outside, cleaning out nest boxes,
Karen and I heard a screech that sounded like a Red-tailed Hawk.
Today, I identified the perpetrator of this call. It was a Steller's
Jay, making the call repeatedly as it perched about 15 feet from our
feeder (once it even made the call with a whole peanut stuffed part
way inside its bill). This call would seem to be a good strategy for
keeping competitors away from the feeder, or perhaps it was just a
random call that this individual liked to make.

Today about ten Band-tailed Pigeons crowded onto our platform feeder.

A question: while doing a spring check inside a birdhouse sized for
a screech-owl, I found the house filled up to the hole with moss. I
suspect that it was used by either a Northern Flying Squirrel or a
Douglas Squirrel as a den. Would anyone know which squirrel species
would use moss to this extent? We have both in the area, though I
haven't seen a Northern Flying Squirrel in over two years at our

Lee Rentz
Shelton, WA

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