The swaggering one
Tuesday June 09th 2015, 10:52 pm
Filed under: Life,Wildlife

So. Do I talk about Caremark messing me over again despite phone calls and email messages and me being without my prescription because they just totally blew it? (Are we surprised.)



With fledging season over a juvenile scrub jay moved in and took over the yard. And was a complete pain in the neck. When I put out suet crumbles for the little birds as ever? Usually that meant a jay would fly in, grab a bite and leave–or more often land, try to get my attention, wait for its own treats to be tossed its way, and that would be that. The interaction would entertain both of us and it knew if it grabbed the suet first I would refuse to toss it the other. Which it preferred. We had it all worked out.

This overdressed crow declared ownership of it all, and unlike its parents, figured out how to land on both the bird feeder and the small hanging suet cage, both designed specifically to thwart bigger birds. If the cage swung wildly or it could get a reaction out of me that was half the fun. I put bird spikes on the top of the cage? It got around them.

That big beak could stab a lot of food out of there–and then that jay came right back for more and I knew it wasn’t hungry and I knew it wasn’t the hormones of autumn telling it to stock up. It did it because it could. It did it because it was a teenager. It was always the same bird: one white poof of a baby feather on the still-gray chest for the longest time.

Today it was bossing and bullying the smaller birds but I wasn’t paying it any attention just then. Then it apparently decided to see if it could land on the smaller feeder that I don’t always fill but did today, the one tucked into the alcove of the patio.

Peripheral vision plus motion, and suddenly there was a bright blue tail with the large gray back of the Cooper’s hawk immediately behind and closing in on it fast. The end of that chase was clear but it also happened just past the roofline where I couldn’t see, and for that, I’m grateful, since that jay had been obnoxious but it had also been one of a kind.

It had liked to land holding on sideways to the left-side awning pole about two-thirds up: that was its spot and no other bird was allowed to touch it.

A Bewick’s wren of all things landed there about an hour later and took a good look around. Hey! This was a pretty good vantage point for looking over the patio and seeing which food was available where, wasn’t it, and as its head turned this way and that I was sitting there going, wow. It really knows that jay is gone. It would never have dared.

Two mockingbirds appeared on the fence, found no sign of their enemy there either, and flew straight over my house. Boy, that was a change!

They just don’t do that. They stay well away from my back yard, always, enforced at beak-point by jay. They knew it was gone. I should have sung Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead because it would have been hysterical to hear them singing the tune back–which they could have.

I wondered how long it would be before another scrub jay came to take the other’s place.

And the answer was about five and a half, six hours.

A whiter-chested older one landed holding sideways onto that pole, higher up than the other one’s spot, shifting its feet nervously, awkwardly, watching me. It darted in and took one single suet crumble from below and fled. I forgot to toss it its treats if that was the old one but I don’t think it was.

And that was that.

I can deal with that.

4 Comments so far
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This was the year we had to change insurances and the mail order pharmacy is also Caremark. Nope, we are not happy with the insurance we had to take (because of where we live, it is the only one available) and we are not any happier with Caremark, either.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 06.10.15 @ 8:16 am

I am so sorry to hear you are still having to fight with insurance all the time. It is such a drag! My observation is that healthcare/insurance is always a challenge, no matter where you live. Yes, my doctor visits are free here in Canada–but pobody’s nerfect…

Comment by Joanne 06.10.15 @ 9:00 am

Well, the hawk has to eat, too, so he might as well eat an obnoxious bird.

Reminds me of when my eldest was a vegetarian. But she said she’d eat a Canada goose quite happily as she had been attacked by one as a young girl.

Comment by twinsetellen 06.10.15 @ 7:22 pm

Uh oh, more medicine snafu. I’m so sorry. If emails will help, I can. And I do enjoy reading about your birding adventures. Quite the cast of characters.

Comment by DebbieR 06.11.15 @ 5:49 am

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