2022—Patio Jay

My all-time favorite bird is the California Scrub Jay. For many years, one Scrub Jay nested in our yard and taught the chicks to feed there. One year, the jay lost its mate and consequently the entire nest with hatchlings. Jays mate for life and within a few days, he brought home a new mate and I watched, enthralled, as he showed her “his” yard including the birdbath and how to use it. They were a constant presence in my yard for eight or nine years. He was my companion when I grew tomatoes, waiting for me to pull tomato worms off the vines so he could pick them up and whack them a few times against the edge of the birdbath, before gulping them down. He was loud and obnoxious to the smaller birds in the yard but his antics were so interesting and he was so much fun to watch that he is my all time favorite bird. Even my companion parrot of twenty plus years, Bobo, a beautiful Red-lored Amazon, barely measures up. The Scrub Jays have been absent from my yard for a few years. I don’t know why but I’ve missed them. This spring, however, a couple of jays have been visiting. I hope they stay. This jay stayed for quite a while sitting on the back of one of the patio chairs. I hoped he would move to a more natural looking perch but he never did.