[Tweeters] re Stellars vs. Scrub Jay thread

m.egger at comcast.net m.egger at comcast.net
Mon Mar 12 12:23:37 PDT 2012





This is so interesting to me, particularly Ruth Taylor's comments from the Ballard neighborhood in NW Seattle, wher she has Scrubs and rarely Stellars. I live near Matthews Beach in NE Seattle, separated by just a few miles from Ballard, "as the jay flies." Over in my area Stellars are found regularly year round in significant numbers, and I NEVER seen or heard of Scrubs in the area. In fact, this was news to me that Scrubs were found anywhere within Seattle on a regular basis. As a hypothesis to explaing this difference, I'd note that Ballard was and continues to be rather much a deforested zone with relatively few conifers and lots of open space, whereas in my area there are still lots of conifers and forested patches in general. It will be very interesting to see how this dynamic plays out over the next decade or so...



So what's the news on Scrub vs Stellars from other parts of Seattle?



Mark Egger

NE Seattle



 

 

 

 
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  



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
<blockquote>

-----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




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