An Unexpected Visit from Steller’s Jay Chicks

 Posted by on May 21, 2012 at 6:10 am  Outdoors  Add comments
May 212012
Steller's Jay Chicks

Steller's Jay Chicks

When I opened my front door to get the newspaper yesterday morning, I was greeted by two unexpected visitors right outside my door. They were two Steller’s Jay chicks who were as surprised as I was. They appeared to have some flight feathers but were not capable of flying quite yet. I was surprised that they did not immediately run away from me. Perhaps they hadn’t yet gotten the lesson about predators from their mom.

As I stooped to take a picture of them, three adult jays immediately flew down from the trees and started squawking franticly several yards away. No doubt they were trying to distract me away from the young ones. I stayed my distance from the chicks and encouraged them to walk toward the waiting adults.  I closed my door and the family of jays was gone shortly thereafter.

The Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) is native to Washington and other Northwestern states. They are related to the blue jay but have differentiating features such as a black head and shoulders and a pronounced crested head. Found in a variety of forested habitats and open spaces in forest zones, the Steller’s Jay typically lives in groups of 10 or more. These jays usually lay their eggs from April to May so I assume that the ones that visited me, given their size, were born in April.



  3 Responses to “An Unexpected Visit from Steller’s Jay Chicks”

  1. Actually it is more of an inquiry. We have a Steller’s Jay chick and its family in our back yard. Our predicament is that the neighborhood cats have caught it twice and we have rescued it twice. I was wondering if you may have an idea of how much longer it might take for this poor creature to fly successfully enough to escape the clutches of the cats? I understand that it is only nature doing what it does but it pains me to think that this little guy might not make it to adulthood. Any info is appreciated.

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