[Tweeters] Re: birds are feisty! WSJays vs StJay

Barry Ulman ubarry at qwest.net
Sun Mar 11 21:06:35 PDT 2012

I used to live in Susanville, California, which had both Steller's Jays and Scrub Jays. I have a movie of a Steller's Jay and a Scrub Jay perched on opposite sides of my feeder, staring each other down. I don't remember what the outcome was, and unfortunately my movie camera wound down before the standoff ended.

Barry Ulman
Bellingham, WA.

On Mar 11, 2012, at 6:06 PM, Ruth Taylor wrote:

> I have had Western Scrub-jays in my neighborhood in Seattle for over 10 years. I only see Steller's Jays in the fall and winter, probably because the part of Ballard I live in isn't wooded enough for them. It appears that the scrub-jays harass them every time they see them, even thought it isn't the pre-breeding or breeding season.


> Ruth Taylor

> rutht AT seanet DOT com

> -----Original Message-----

> From: Kimberly Mason <kz at tds.net>

> To: tweeters at u.washington.edu <tweeters at u.washington.edu>

> Date: Wednesday, March 07, 2012 8:52 AM

> Subject: [Tweeters] Re: birds are feisty! WSJays vs StJay


> I haven't seen a single Steller's Jay since for ages. Even when the walnuts ripened, none showed up to eat them (they usually show in great numbers).


> Yesterday I watched as a Steller's Jay flew across the pasture and into a tree at the edge of my ancient orchard. A Western Scrub Jay IMMEDIATELY flew to him and began a pursuit that went from tree to tree to tree, the WSJay hot on the Stellar's Jay's tail the whole way. Soon another WSJay joined in the pursuit. Finally the StJay landed at the very top of the tallest apple tree, both WSJays drifted to the ground on either side of the tall tree. I held my breath while the StJay seemed to be catching his for a several moments. The StJay made a mad dash for the woods on the north hill, flying out of the WSJay's usual territory. The WSJays gave a short chase and then returned.


> This morning I can hear the call of the StJay in the far off woodland, but he has not yet dared to make another appearance.


> I had wondered why I had only seen WSJays (a pair and their lone surviving juvenile) in the yard. I have hazelnut and walnut trees, there is plenty of food to go around (I thought). Now I know. The cheeky, sneaky, territorial birds!


> But isn't it a bit early to be establishing their territory so strongly? Or is it because the Steller's Jay is known to be an egg-eater (as are they) that the WSJays would just asoon scare them off now rather than later?


> km


> Kimberly Mason

> Cinebar, Wash., kz at tds.net

> 360-269-5017

> Freelance for The Chronicle

> and Lewis County Outdoors.

> Also The (Almost) Daily Bird.


> On 3/6/2012 12:00 PM, tweeters-request at mailman1.u.washington.edu wrote:


>> Message: 1

>> Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2012 12:07:08 -0800

>> From: Roger <r_craik at shaw.ca>

>> Subject: Re: [Tweeters] birds are feisty!

>> To: tweeters at u.washington.edu

>> Message-ID: <4F551CEC.5040400 at shaw.ca>

>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed


>> "It prompted me to wonder what makes one bird of the same species and

>> sex dominant to another."


>> One word, Dennis, success. The winner takes all or something like that.


>> Roger Craik

>> Maple Ridge BC


>> On 05/03/2012 8:31 AM, Dennis Paulson wrote:

>>> > No, I should say seriously antagonistic when competing for the same resource. I thought we had a single female Townsend's Warbler coming to our suet every day, but just now I was surprised to see two of them arrive at the same time from different directions. One quickly chased the other one away. It prompted me to wonder what makes one bird of the same species and sex dominant to another. And even though the bird food of various kinds that we put out represents an almost unlimited resource, the birds are programmed to fight over it.

>>> >

>>> > The most spectacularly antagonistic are the Pine Siskins, which crouch and spread their wings out whenever another bird comes near. In fact, there is antagonism between individuals (both within and between species) in just about all of the species that come to the feeders. The only birds that seem completely satisfied to feed in groups with no aggression are Bushtits.

>>> > -----

>>> > Dennis Paulson

>>> > 1724 NE 98 St.

>>> > Seattle, WA 98115

>>> > 206-528-1382

>>> > dennispaulson at comcast.net

>>> >

>>> >

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