Today is Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Down on Jay-Bird Street

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Adult Bluejay

This is the time of the year that I call the " inbetweens ", where it is still too warm here, but not cool enough where our winter birds will start showing up. Just about the only thing here is our regular all the time species, that you can find here around your feeders. I purchased a new heater for my birdbath, so there will always be open water for my thirsty feathered friends. Last year, even when we had the frigid temperatures, "polar vortex", my birds had fresh water available. Even the Town Creek was froze over. At a cost of about fourteen dollars, it might have been a life saver. Also, I couldn't tell any difference in my utility bill.

Another Saturday morning with Anthony Gray, who else? We left Peking Chinese restaurant and headed east toward Carthage. Some of our friends had been camping out at the Defeated Creek campground, so we decided to pay them a surprise visit, hoping to find a few birds in the process. Liz and Willis Franklin had been enjoying some peace and quiet away from the doldrums, here in the big city of Lebanon.

As we pulled up to their campsite, I could see Liz's camera sitting on their picnic table, which told me that Liz had probably been shooting pictures of some type of bird in the area. I was correct, in my assumption. She showed me a few pictures that she had taken. My poor eyesight plus the fact that the sun shone bright, kept me from being able to identify a Woodpecker and some type of Warbler she had photographed. When she gets time to put these on her Facebook, I'll be better prepared to help her with figuring out what she had captured with her camera. Off in the distance, I watched a Great Blue Heron trying his luck at fishing, then winging his way over the waves after getting spooked by a boat.

One of the most plentiful birds we have seen over the past few weeks is the Bluejay, along with American Crows. Even the starlings have thinned out a bit here at my home, as they are starting to flock together. As the weather gets colder, you will see huge flocks of starlings passing overhead. This can be on the fun side if you saved some bottle rockets from the 4th of July. Just be careful and not shoot any of these within the city limits.

The Bluejay, ( Cyanocitta cristata ) is one of the most annoying birds that has ever been active at your bird feeders. You would have to understand what makes them tick to really appreciate them. This is one bird that my Mockingbird backs off from. Total respect? I understand why. I have seen them stand up to even humans.

Many years ago, there was a kid in our neighborhood that would get into anything he could. I was sitting out in front of my old house watching a pair of Bluejays feeding a little one. This kid comes up and then asks, " can I catch him "? Sure, I said, knock yourself out. As he reached down to grab the little one, one of the adults flew down, grabbed him on the back of the neck and twisted. What a blood blister it left. I don't remember him ever bothering another bird in our neighborhood.

If you have a Bluejay that shares your feeder station, be happy. Some will call him a rascal, which he is. But he always has his eyes open for the unusual. Just ask a squirrel hunter. He will be the first to sound the alarm when there is a Hawk on the prowl especially close to his food source. Bluejays, love them or hate them, they don't care.

I would love to hear from you as to what's lurking about in your neighborhood and at your feeders. You can write me at, 606 Fairview Ave., Lebanon, TN, 37087, or e-mail me at,

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Our Feathered Friends
Anthony Gray, Ray Pope
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