Will Work for Peanuts
This time of year I start putting peanuts out for the birds, both shelled and in the shell. Peanuts attract woodpeckers, nuthatches, and Bluejays. The Bluejays are the only ones that actually prefer peanuts in the shell.
Peanuts also attract grackles, starlings, and house sparrows. These birds gorge so ferociously that the feeders seem to be empty within minutes, though the peanuts in the shell last a bit longer. So I do not put out peanuts until some time in October, after the grackles are gone and the starlings are busy inhaling every kind of fruit they can find. The house sparrows we shall always have with us.
We spent some time today being entertained by the bluejays as they wrestled peanuts in the shell out of the feeder, which was pretty much emptied out during the course of the day.
They weren’t actually eating all those peanuts. Most they took for their secret peanut stash, to be consumed during the hungry days of winter. This explains why they like peanuts in the shell.
For a long time we almost never saw Bluejays. I believe they were decimated in this area due to West Nile virus. But once I started putting out peanuts this month, a pair of Bluejays have been making themselves very much at home in the back garden.
I like Bluejays. I like their color. If they were a dull brown would I still like them? Probably not. Bluejays are closely related to Grackles, and I consider those birds to be pests.
Bluejays are greedy and have terrible table manners. They also have a loud, raucous cry that some people find unpleasant, especially early in the morning. Here’s a little sample from Youtube. For the sake of authenticity, turn your volume all the way up. Also please excuse any ads that appear, that would be from Youtube, not me.
Despite all this, I am always happy when I see these big blue birds. Like the Cardinals, they keep us company for the winter.
Do you have Bluejays where you live? Are you happy or dismayed to have them around?