Friday, September 28, 2012

THE CORVID GAME: Crows vs Blue Jays

8 56 40 AM   This is the new stick pile.  It's a slightly different model than the one the sparrows have had for years and this one seems to have attracted a Crow.
And as Crows have a rule that there always has to be a sentinel, here she is on the wire.
Stick Pile Crow appears to be giving me the LOOK. 
A small flap climb.
And another look.
Checks the stump.
Landing gear ready.
He looks at the buffet which includes dried corn and dried dog food.  Then suddenly looks up alert.

And flies over to the grape arbor and peers into the Spruce tree.
8:58:51 AM  Then cocks his head, still looking into the Spruce body tensed.
8:59:08AM  And suddenly Crow is no longer there but a rather pleased Blue Jay has taken his perch.

8 59 21 AM  A species rarely known for discretion, Blue Jay hops onto the bird house.
8 59 32AM  Crow comes bombing back to the grape arbor perch from behind the Blue Jay,  and Jay flushes back  toward the Spruce where he nearly collides with his Blue Jay cohort.

8 59 37  There is still a Crow sentinel but she is looking toward the park and now on the wire much closer to the trees and the Jays.
 8 59 41 AM One of the Jays is now in the north Spruce that abuts the first to the south.

 9 00 05  Jay hops down to the woodpile, looks NE.
 9 00 06  And the Corvid Screaming officially begins.  Previously there had been a call from both species here and there, now everyone is calling to everyone else and at every one else.  Its deafening.

 9 00 12  And a Crow flies in over Woodpile Blue Jay's head and lands on the wire west of the Blue Jay's perch.
9 00 39
9 00 39
9 00 39  Note it took less than a second from the first photo where the second Crow is preparing for a landing until  a complete folded wing landing and a look between the two Crows to take place.
 9 00 59  It takes 10 seconds for a Blue Jay to land between them.
 9 00 59  Jay looks at right Crow.
9 00 59   Then left Crow as she begins to turn.

9 01 01 And by two seconds later Blue Jay has rocketed himself into the air in what looks like a sitting position and right Crow is re-balancing herself.

9 01 30  I scan the foliage. Where did everyone go?  There is no screaming.  The games of Blue Jays vs Crows have finished?  The squirrels who took to the trees during the "battle" are still waiting.  So I wait too.

9 02 50  Wait, who should be out on the new stick pile but a Crow, delving for something in the stick bark.  Then Stick Crow takes off toward the northwest.
9 03 12  And now there is a sentinel Crow watching the squirrels come out of the trees.  The same bird as before?  I don't know.
 9 03 31  She takes off in the direction of the previous Crow.

9 03 42 But when sentinel passes over the stick pile a Crow is yet again sitting on the pile.  This time scanning the park.   And so we've circled around to a Crow in the stick pile where we started.

My my, if I'd looked out the window at 8:56AM and seen the Crow,  then gone about my business and looked out the window again, 7 minutes later,  at 9:03AM and seen the Crow.  I never would have known any of it had happened at all.

I'm not sure how this game is scored.  The Crows still hold the yard but the Blue Jays definitely get bragging rights for tweaking the Crows beaks.  

I'm calling it a draw.

Donegal Browne

1 comment:

sally said...

never a dull moment!!! We have lots of jays right now, as in 4 or 5, i wonder if they are migrating or moving in. I hope moving in!