I appreciate the recent letters concerning blue jays and would like to add my observations.
While I seldom see them at my birdfeeders, even as I read the initial letter from Cheryl Howland I was watching “my” blue jays scooping up the peanuts that I put on the deck railing for them. This has been a morning ritual for at least 20 years now. While the squirrels retrieve peanuts scattered in the yard, blue jays call from the trees in anticipation of the ones being left on the deck railing, sometimes swooping down to pick one up when I’m only feet away. On occasion, they also are enjoyed by a red-bellied woodpecker or a cardinal — but always, always there are blue jays.
It did seem to be a slow start for my birdfeeders this season but has picked up considerably. I have woodpeckers, chickadees, mourning doves, titmice, bluebirds, goldfinches, redpolls, nuthatches, wrens, one or two starlings and love watching the crows pay a call. The occasional hawk reminds me there’s balance to nature. All this in a small yard in a densely populated neighborhood.
I hope bird traffic picks up for Ms. Howland soon and love knowing other people worry about the birds too. And for anyone unfamiliar with feeding peanuts — unsalted only, please!