A Blue Jay Fledgling
Enjoying Dinner on a Branch
June 2004


  The neighborhood blue jay family is having a very good year: five fledglings! That is, five very hungry fledglings. Below, yesterday in the late afternoon, one of the fledglings is quietly waiting for Mom or Dad to return. All five were deposited in the same pine tree.
Blue jay fledgling
At the sight of Mom (for the sake of a label, since both parents share feeding chores), the fledge begins squawking, and Mom alights on the branch next to her kid whose mouth stays wide open, a red target. Note that the fledgling doesn't have a crest and that its tail feathers are very short.
Blue jay fledge and parent
  Mom sticks her beak way down to regurgitate food for her youngster.
Blue jay fledgling being fed
  The fledge wouldn't mind another serving, but Mom looks like she's ready for a break.
Blue jay fledgling wanting more
  Over a period of about 3 hours, all five fledglings were fed in turn, including a quiet fledge. Between feedings, the fledges would doze next to each other, and at one point four of them were thumped up against one another on a branch. After the meal was over and darkness beginning to settle, the seven vanished to their nighttime quarters.

It would be interesting to know how a blue jay parent signals the fledglings when it is time to wait at a particular spot and when to leave.

Photo note: The photos were taken on 11 June 2004, through my living room window, at Saddle Rock, Long Island, with a Sony F707 and its .7x multiplier.

Blue jay and cardinal   |   A goose family

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