Scrub-Jays in a Panic

Sometimes you enter into the scrub-jay territory and you can instantly hear that something is going on. You hear a few alarm calls off in the distance. Then you hear the territorial “pish pish” alarm type call they make. Something has got them spooked.

In fact, the way I found out that there were bobcats back on those trails is that the jays were acting this very way about a year or so ago. I followed the noises for about half a mile. Low and behold there was a family of bobcats on trail, mother and two smaller to medium sized cats.

So, what had them spooked this time? I did see the occasional hawk. But they weren’t paying any special attention to them. They alerted when the hawks cam by but you could tell this wasn’t the focus of their attention.

I noticed that not all of the jays were out. I spotted a total of six instead of the usual eight. This is over the distance of about half a mile and three distinct groups. The second group was missing two. But this happens sometimes as jays wonder off and return. I hope that nothing happened to them. I can understand the bird’s panic if it did.


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