Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Jay Walking

Perhaps you've never heard of Scrub Jays. Contrary to what you may think, Scrub Jays are not some revolutionary cleaning product. I'd assume they are related to Blue Jays. No, not the baseball team- I mean birds with feathers, beady eyes and bony legs.
We recently visited a wildlife preserve in Florida that's home to a S
crub Jay colony. Yes, they live in areas with lots of "scrub"- stubby bushes- hence their name. And no, there are not a lot of them left. They're endangered. Interestingly, Scrub Jays have no natural fear of people. They will fly right up and land on you. I am not making this up. Just look at Trina's photos. They seem especially anxious to interact if they somehow get the idea you have food. We have no idea what might have given the Scrub Jays that impression. The Snickers Bar I was eating was certainly not a factor.
Our face-to-beak meeting resembled a scene out of The Birds. The Hitchcock movie, not the rock band. These little blue bombers were flying in all directions, landing on various body parts. Trina was snapping photos like a demon. She's trying to capture the blue blurs on film, while these cheeky (and sneaky) sky chicks were perching on her head. One even fluttered down on Shirley, my Mom. But nothing ruffles her feathers! Watching these trusting birds in action, I think I see why they're endangered. I'm thinking of all the denizens of the animal kingdom that might enjoy a nice self-serve Scrub Jay snack. But as luck would have it these Scrub Jays do have one sneaky defensive system. Anyone know how to get bird poop out of a cotton shirt?

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