Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wild things

I'm making friends with a Blue Jay. We started with me tossing a peanut in his general direction, and him flying off. Eventually, he would fly off and wait for me to go back into the house, at which point he would swoop in and get the peanut. I knew it was him, because I watched from the window.

Time passed, many peanuts were exchanged, and at last he would wait on one of the porch beams for me to toss a peanut; he'd look around and come get it while I sat in my chair. Very gradually, I tossed the peanut closer and closer to where I sat; he would let me know when I'd gone too far by refusing to get it until I'd gone back in the house. The next day, I'd start out back in his comfort zone, and then keep trying to lure him a little bit closer.

Every day, he did get a little bit closer; and each time I could see that he was really thinking about it. He'd skitter in and out very fast; grabbing the peanut and flying off to safety. Then, after a few times, he'd suddenly relax. Getting the peanut was easy for him; he seemed to understand that he was not in any danger.

One morning, I woke up very early, and Blue Jay was already on the porch, as if he were waiting for me. That morning, I coaxed him up onto the table next to my chair and he took a peanut from my hand. We've been doing that for a few weeks now; he's grown very comfortable and today he stood on the table and squawked when I didn't get him his peanuts quickly enough.

So I decided to up the ante; I held the peanut in such a way that he would have to perch on my knee to get it. At first he was not amused; he stood on the table and made all sorts of noises in an effort to get me to bring the peanut to him. I held firm, and the lure of the peanut won. He hopped onto my knee and got his prize.

He repeated this performance at least a dozen times today; we were both very pleased with ourselves.


Kristen said...

That is awesome. I get yelled at by my birds if the bird feeder is empty and there is a robin who will come about 2 feet from me but I haven't attempted this yet. I'm Jealous!

Kokopelli said...

What a cute story! My parents have a lot of blue jays building their nests in their garden, mostly in the wooden nesting caves (?) we hung in the trees.