The Western Scrub Jay sounds the alarm!


Western Scrub Jay


I’ve noticed that some types of birds are just smarter than others.  Turkey ranchers will say that their birds are pretty stupid.  One told me he can’t leave his birds out in the rain.  “Their so dumb the turkey will look up to see where the rain is coming from and drown”.


I think of some of the seed eating birds (seeds can’t outsmart or out run a bird) need help to out-wit predators because they are not too bright.  Kind of like cows with their heads down eating grass, flocks of finches and sparrows graze along, seemingly unaware danger may be lurking nearby.  Now the Western Scrub Jay feeds on all sorts of things.  Things like bugs and lizards, etc. that they have to outsmart to catch.  Just look at them looking at you and you know the wheels are spinning.  These guys are intelligent.

Western Scrub Jay

Usually when we see Scrub Jays ( no they are not Blue Jays, that is an Eastern bird ) they are hopping around in trees feeding while keeping a keen eye out for danger.  When they spot a hawk, cat or even a snake the jay will sound an alarm something like a loud raspy shreek!  Every bird in the area will either flee or freeze.  Often the jay will harass the predator until it gives up and leaves the place.

Western Scrub Jay

Western Scrub Jays are intelligent, beautiful birds.  They are related to crows which are rumored to be pretty smart as well.  Jays provide a great service by not only being a “watch” bird, they also eat tons of insects and spread the seeds of many types of trees and bushes so they can germinate far from the mother plant.  11″ and please remember Scrub Jays are blue and white.  Blue Jays are a crested bird of the Eastern U.S; different bird.

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