New Batch of Chicks

scrub jay babies

Pretty exciting news. I discovered a scrub-jay nest and when one of the parents landed near it I could hear the little chicks making chirping noises. They were very low volume which is good in that it does not draw a lot of attention from predators.

The bush they picked was perfect. I don’t know much about plant types but this one in particular really lends itself to a bird’s nest. It is about seven feet tall and grows out very wide. The nest is about halfway up and about a foot away from the center trunk. It is protected from ground animals and it well hidden and pretty well protected against larger predatory birds.

Scrub-jays where I live do not reproduce every year and it has in fact been two years since I saw any offspring. So, this is a very welcomed sight. I do worry about how they will turn out as they are most certainly a result of inbreeding to some degree. The same birds have been in this one square mile patch of land for many years. The place where they are located is an island in that there are no other scrub-jays for many miles.

I hope there is enough genetic diversity left that these birds are born as smart and agile as their parents. Two years ago I did see a “special” bird and I am pretty sure she didn’t make it.

UPDATE 5/3/23: There are no new fledglings and the nest is quiet. Apparently all of the baby chicks failed to live long enough to fledge. There are not other chicks in the entire area. Another year without a new generation of birds.

I can only guess that the intense heat and drought of last month caused the chicks to die. They weren’t super well shaded in the tree they were hatched. Either that or a predator got hold of them.

Photo is not my own. I haven’t brought my phone or camera out on trail in a long while. I think I will start soon.

Photo belongs to @photographertj on Instagram

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