Friday, May 6, 2011
Posted by Robert Mortensen
I distinctly remember seeing my first Western Scrub-jay. We had taken our family to some fun and scenic areas of Arizona including Oak Creek Canyon near Sedona. I saw a fairly large blue object fly over the car, so I pulled off the road and went traipsing through the brush after it. I ended up getting some great long views to study this new life bird. Identification in my Western Sibley Guide was pretty easy. That thrill of seeing such a cool looking bird still has not worn off, even though I see them almost every day in my Utah backyard. I guess that color of blue wins me over every time.
The Western Scrub-jay seems to fill the niche occupied by the Blue Jay in the east. They can be loud and raucous and seem to drive off the other birds when they come to the feeders like bullies. My wife's late grandmother would get ticked off at them for eating the eggs and baby Robins in her tree. Today I observed them with nesting material in their bills and followed them to a pine tree in the corner of my backyard where I could see a cluster of a nest forming. How cool is that?!
Here is a link to a previous post with photos of Western Scrubbies taken at my wife's late grandmother's home in Sandy, Utah. Unfortunately, Grandma Newren passed away two weeks ago, but left a great legacy for her large posterity.