Monday, June 01, 2009

Bluejay Babies

The Steller Jay eggs in our garage hatched while I was in Alaska. Here's a couple of pictures I took today, so they would be what? a week and a half old? The pictures are dark because I didn't want to blind them with the flash:

They are very silent considering how loud their parents are. When we go out through the garage the parents fly out to the nearest tree and squawk abrasively, but you would never guess that the babies have this potential. A book I read recently, called "Mind of the Raven", makes the point that the loudness of the babies, or lack of it, depends upon nesting conditions. Baby ravens are very loud, because their nests are in inaccessible places. I conclude that corvids who nest in places like boxes on top of garage shelves, or on porch lights, will tend to have silent babies. I wonder when they get their voices?


Laura A said...

I like it! We've been watching babies here, too, but not Steller's Jays. I always enjoy those when we go out West.

I like that point about the loudness of the babies, too. I'm sure you'll notice when they get their voices! (When they fledge, perhaps?)

Is *Mind of the Raven* by Bernd Heinrich? I think maybe it is. I read his *Winter World* a couple of years ago and enjoyed it. Methought he protested a bit too much about being a pure materialist, but all the information about birds was very interesting. *Winter World* was largely about Golden-Crowned Kinglets and how they survive the cold.

Willa said...

The jays got their voices yesterday when they started trying to fly out of their nest. Kevin put one back in since they didn't seem quite able to fly back into their nook on their own and it squawked at him. Not quite as abrasively as their mother but close.

Yes, Mind of the Raven is by Bernd Heinrich. I agree with your take on the materialism. I think he is a born naturalist but his philosophy isn't as unique and energetic as his investigation style.