It was about six o’clock on a mid-July morning as I walked the gardens of our Victorian-era home when I came across a sight I had never seen before, or witnessed since. And it occurred right in my own backyard.
In a corner, by a railing, two little blue jay babies were huddled together, eyes closed.
This was the first time I’d seen a fledgling blue jay, let alone two, and I watched them for a few seconds before quickly retrieving my camera in the hopes they would be there on my return.
I crept up to the two, still sitting together on a wooden ledge, still with eyes closed, and for the next hour or so I kept an eye and the camera lens on the two little Northern Blue Jays.
The parent, I assumed the mother, flew by a number of times cautioning with a screech. As time went by, the two became more active, and more vocal, squawking for their parent, peppering the air with their sharp call, sometimes referred to ”jaay” or “jeer.”
I was very cautious in my shooting initially. I didn’t want to disturb the scene, making sure to record at least some video.
With my initial shots captured, I looked for alternate angles and compositions. The fledglings tried out their wings as the hour passed. Flying from the ledge to a wheelbarrow to a tree to a fence. While I kept my distance, using the long end of the telephoto, they seemed more interested in feeding and flying than my presence.
Finally, they gathered strength, and along with their parent, went “jaay-jaaying” to a distance tree, out of sight but certainly not out of earshot. It was good to see that these creatures seem to have adapted very well to their urban environment. For me, they offered an enjoyable and entertaining bird-watching experience.