One time I almost got in an argument with a friend because he said he had a blue bird at his bird feeder. I told him I didn't think it was a bluebird. It turned out we were both right. I thought he meant a western bluebird but he just meant it was blue in color.

When you see that flash of blue at your bird feeder, it is either a scrub jay or a Steller's jay. If it has a top knot it is a Steller's jay . Back on the farm in Wisconsin it would have been an eastern blue jay.

We had a scrub jay nest in our pine tree for three years in a row. These jays spent a good share of their time chasing any Steller's jays out of our yard. It kind of surprised me because they look smaller than the Steller's jays. They would also work hard at burying the sunflower seeds from the feeders. The last year or so we haven't had as many of either kind in our yard. Occasionally we do see Steller's jays when we go for our walk and scrub jays come from across the river to take sunflower seeds back to feed their babies.

In September we can sit on the riverbank and watch the migration of the jays coming from the North. They may just be coming down to a lower elevation for the winter, but this happens every year. Some of them will stop and eat at our feeders for a short while and be on their way again.

Some people are not crazy about these jays, but our bird watching experience would not be the same without them.

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