Jay, Jay, Go Away!

Outside my window at work, in the top branches of an old maple tree, there is a nest where a pair of Robins raised their young last year. That was the first year in the 10 I’ve been here that any bird has nested in this tree. It may be its height of ~50 feet (a long drop for a fledgling) or maybe a lack sunlight.

The nest was well concealed and it wasn’t until the young had hatched that I even noticed it as mom and dad were continually flying out and back with worms, crane flies and various other meals loaded in their beaks. Once the young fledged, it felt as though my neighbors had up and moved. I felt lonely.

All winter long I’ve watched that empty nest swaying in the wind, filling with snow, and generally taking a beating in the harsh winter weather we experienced this year. All that time I kept hoping that when spring arrived the Robins would return and nest there again. They have often returned to the same nests in certain trees and shrubs at home so I’ve been keeping my fingers crossed.

And yes…that’s made it tough to type, Ba-dump-bump!

Today, while gazing out the window, daydreaming typing meeting minutes, I saw a bird fly to the top of the tree. Excitedly I turned hoping to see a Robin returning to the nest but quickly realized…that’s no Robin…that’s a Jay…a Steller’s Jay! Damn…that’s almost as bad as a flying-rat city pigeon!

Disappointed, and more than a little annoyed, I began devising schemes to somehow knock the nest from the tree. Unfortunately, the window doesn’t open and throwing stones from the roof of the building would probably result in a visit from security…or to the Psychiatry Department. I hated the thought of having to watch a pair of loud, obnoxious (though admittedly beautiful) Jay’s raise a family of squawking nest robbers.


Yup…they’re known to eat other bird’s eggs and nestlings.

I walked to the window to get a closer look at what he was doing and that’s was when I noticed the branch in his beak. He stood there and picked through the nest for the better twigs and then flew off with a few of them. I’d never seen this behavior before. Of course, unless there is an old nest sitting in plain view, you wouldn’t necessarily see it happen. I shouldn’t be surprised…they are in the Corvidae family and those birds are smarter than some of the scientists I work with…seriously!

So, I spent the rest of the afternoon watching that Jay fly in and out, reducing last year’s Robins nest to about half the size. I don’t know if he’ll eventually dismantle the whole thing but I’m still hoping the Robins return, rebuild and raise another brood. It’s far more entertaining than staring at a monitor all day.


4 responses to “Jay, Jay, Go Away!

  1. Stellar Jays are pretty tho. How coool you had a nest right out of your window. I am lucky when the local airport Hawk sits down next to my window..I dont getting any work done when he is there.

  2. I know folks in this area think they’re a pain in the ass, but I can not get over how stunningly beautiful they are. I grew up with regular blue jays in the Midwest, but these guys are just electric blue.

  3. pretty bird; pretty photograph

  4. They may be a pest, but they are beautiful! We have lots of Blue Jays here and I feel about the same way. Though after having robins nest in my garden a couple of years in a row and attack me every time I went into the garden, I am not feeling too kindly towards them either.

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