Sunday, January 27, 2008

Blue Jays

Bluejays are so welcomed in my garden that every time I see one I have to stop and talk to it. Sounds funny but I think they listen to me, though they never talk back. If they aren't listening they sure are studying me, because they will sit close by and observe me for a good few minutes.

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology found at: , blue jay numbers have been decreasing in the east. That is too bad because bluejays are really great birds. They are actually songbirds and sing quite beautifully. They are also known to squawk and raise a fuss when danger is present.

Raise a fuss is just what some grown blue jays did this past summer in my backyard. A baby bluejay somehow left its nest too early. Jimmy and I had a heck of time 'rescuing' it. The parents kept dive bombing us, and a bluejay is not a bird you want to run into as they are quite large. We did the prudent thing and retreated to the house to let the parents care for and watch over the baby. I am not even sure if the dogs would have stood up to these parents.

Bluejays eat a variety of insects which is a big help to gardeners. I have also seen them eating dogfood. I used to keep a bowl of dogfood on the deck and I can tell you more birds eat dogfood than you would believe. In addition to the bluejays, titmouses seemed to find the dogfood quite tasty. Maybe it has to do with the protein in the dogfood. Now, along with sunflower seeds I throw out a handful of dogfood when the weather is very cold and I want to feed the birds-especially the bluejays.

in the garden....


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Hi Tina,
    Too funny, Jack of all trades is on 3 calls this am, all is quite here and I have 3 things to blog about! All relative though.
    The appraiser is coming on tues, last year when he came we were borrowing a very small percent of the value of the house so I am not worried although the house market has go down I think we will be ok. Just want to get rid of the mobile.
    I didn't know you liked appraising!? What is relative about it is, we have a customer that has a home business of appraising (she was iching to do mine but Fannie May prevents that-she gives me tips) She also is connected with the local vets and rehabs birds! She kept a bj for many years (had a amputated wing) Seaguls (god love her) including catching grass hoppers for the kiddie pool so the gull will stomp and mash its food-after she throws the incests in that is. More recently she has a crow that won't leave! Rosie is very naughty! Loves her files, loves the trash cans-loves her! She has emailed me pics of the trouble he gets into-but he won't leave the windowsill. She has been a customer since 97 and when she calls I'm sure to talk for a hour, nice lady.
    Third- this one is for mom, and speaking of 'puter lingo, Mom do you know who this is? @;} Hints- his name acronyms as "lives" and Zack uses it as a sign off.

  3. I forgot to mention, I followed Ninas lead to dutchbulbs and found the tuber roses. I wanted to say thanks-not only are these flowers gorgeous but they are reasonable priced. Thanks Nina and Lola! I'll be looking forward to your post on these-have to get them.

  4. I had one of those round, colorful, plastic thingy thing that kid use to sfit sand with at the beach and nailed it to my porch railing. I would fill it with peanuts in the shell for the bluejays. They loved them but never ate them there. They would carry the whole peanut off and then come back for more. The racoons also would get them so to save a penny or dime I would lay dog food on the railing and the racoons would eat that. But, bluejays sure can squawk and drive other birds away from the feeders. The peanuts help with that as they like the peanuts better.

    Dawn I am positive that even with the house market having gone down you will be fine. In fact I bet you will be shocked and dismayed with what you will get (dismayed cause of taxes and insurance purposes). With totaly all real wood and the fancy work, french doors, stained glass windows, decks on 2 floors, ect. and a 3 floor house it will be higher than you are thinking. Also is the garage and office included in that or is it just the house part?

    I do not have a clue what that means. Please do tell.

  5. I also went to dutchbulbs and it is a very pretty flower and I requested a catalog. They made me think of glads the way the grow. Thanks guys.

  6. chic-handsome-great weekend to you too.

    Hi Dawn with peaches. Yes I love the appraisal business. That is why I worked at the real estate school for a while last year so I could understand the business better. I actually took my state agent's exam and passed. But it was never a goal to become a realtor and sell. Only to appraise. Then I could not only indulge my need to earn money, but I could see lots of landscaping too. It is still on the table.

    Ask your friend what you have to do in Maine to become an appraiser. Down here it is a two year apprenticeship under a certified appraisor. Then a board and test.

    Your house and you guys will be fine. I'm with mom, you don't want a high assessment due to taxes and all. In Tennessee they judge and rate your house in categories like "above average, average..." They will definitely rate your house above average but each little upgrade should not figure into the assessment, though it should in the appraisal. The key with appraisals is getting good comps. That might be hard in your area. An appraisal should include the whole house, land, everything.

    Mom, you should start feeding the blue jays again. Put a feeder right outside your computer window. Or do you already have one? I seem to remember you saying you did and your inside birds talked to the outside birds occasionally?

    What are some other types of birds people like?

    Also, don't forget about our get together. Email me with any questions at

  7. Tina,

    I think your first poster is spam. I had one on my site exactly the same.

    I think crows and blue-jays are related. I'd much rather have the blue-jays though! We don't have any here though, just one agressive mockingbird who has chased every other bird away!

  8. I don't seem to have as many birds this year as I usually do. I normally have "bunches" of cardinals. Do you suppose it is because I stopped feeding them for awhile this past summer?

    Tina, what about home inspection? It seems to be an up and going thing now days.

    I wish I had your energy!!!

  9. All the Blue Jays are disappearing because they are at our house! We have tons of the things! They clean out the suet feeders and the house type birdfeeder with Black Oil sunflower seed! They usually hang in the yard at the feeders from Mid January until about March or so. They are beautiful birds but they can be a bit mean to other birds while eating at the feeders. They also knock out a lot of seed onto the ground while feeding at the house type feeder. They will take a peanut away because they may be hiding it in a tree! Yes, blue jays store food for later use kind of like squirrels do…

    Yes Nina, if you stop feeding the birds, their numbers will be smaller. If you start feeding them again, they should come back that is unless they found a new food source elsewhere...

    I agree Dave, they showed up on the Pet People Blog also...

  10. Well, we finally have a nice day --so I guess I will be outside more than in. I like cardinals --they are so pretty --of course the "boys" in my house think the male cardinals are so pretty but the girls are "kinda ugly" --what nice fellas, huh? Although the male cardinals do have such pretty red feathers:)

  11. Hey guys, I am sitting here diligently working on some new posts. It takes alot of time. More than I realize sometime. Skeeter,you will like my post on compost featuring your bins. I am also working on one of children, universities and rain barrels. Yes, cow manure is great. I usually use horse though because it seems more accessible. I have a good friend who brought me a WHOLE trailer load full of composted horse manure this past summer. I was in seventh heaven. Who else but gardeners discuss manure with such joy? He is supposed to bring me some more...

    Nina, I don't think you would have less because you stopped feeding this summer. What are you feeding them? I find the black oil sunflower seeds in a platform type feeder works best. I have tons of cardinals. And lots of blue jays too. I am like you Skeeter, you can't tell their numbers are decreasing around here.

    I could probably do home inspections. I know the state also licenses-I think. I haven't specifically researched it. But home inspectors are a dime a dozen and it is hard to know what you are getting. I am not sure if it would be for me but I could surely see just as many homes. Maybe.

    Dave, that chic handsome got everyone's blog I have visited this morning. I am not sure about some of the garden blogs. I did notice it on yours though and others on the Leaf's website. I am surprised the mockingbird chases all the other birds away. They can be territorial but are really great birds to have in your territory. They eat insects too and sing the best songs. I am still trying to teach mine a catcall. Will let you know if I am successful.

    Hi anonymous. It is an extremely nice day today. The ground is still kind of frozen but should thaw out by tomorrow. I love the cardinals too. They can be very bossy just like blue jays. And I hate to say, the boys have a point, the male cardinals are much prettier than the females. Nature specifically intended it that way. I think so females would gain less attentions from predators and males would gain more attention form the females. How chivalrous!

  12. Hi Guys,
    Its the whole thing-except the mobile. That's gone, gone, gone.
    My friend told me the same thing you said Tina, good comps-she looked at mine and could not believe each one had a view and one was shoreland (lake) with a view! I don't have either. Hopefully this guy has more experience. She did tell me to become a appraiser, it takes two years apprentiship, she has been doing it 10 years.
    Mom, I thought you would get that-it is surposed to be your favorite singer-Elvis, there is a better one with sideburns but I forgot how to do it, it was published in Reader Digest last summer. Funny, mix the letters up in his name and it spells "lives". Wonder if that is true.......

  13. Dawn, I even wrote it on paper and tried to figure it out. Since Zack looks like Elvis and plays Elvis I should have gotten it. Guess I was having a senior moment! OMG I should have gotten that out of lives with it being Zack that uses it for a sign off. But i really still do not get it. Does the ? @ : and } stand for letters or what. And that does not make sense cause there are only 4 but 5 in Elvis. Well anyway, please explain it and he is not my favorite singer but does bring back good memories and as it happens right now I have 2 of his CD's in the CD player and 2 of the Statler Brothers and 1 of Kris Kristofferson (who is closer to my favorite than Elvis). And no he IS dead!!

  14. Hi All,
    I agree the Cardinals are about my favorite as I have a pair that comes round every summer. Use to be 2 pair but something happened to 1 pair mate. But to be honest the Hummingbird IS my favorite. They sure can pull some antics. And the colors are so brilliant when caught in the sun light. I had one in N.C. that actually followed me around & would take a shower when I would hold the hose up for him to get into. He would talk or squeak at me & of course I talked to it. I had a yellow one one summer there. I have them here too. I love to sit in the swing & watch them. Doves are nice too. A pair here---walks across the yard with little ones in summer. Crows or Black birds are a nuisance. They will clean a feeder out in seconds. Run all the other birds away. I don't think the squirrels would attempt to go round them. But, really I just like to watch all God's critters.
    A gorgeous day here today. Hopefully tomorrow will be too.

  15. I flipped back a blog & read comments I didn't get last night.
    Cow manure is great but make sure it is dry before you use it other wise it will burn. Also you can make manure "tea". Put a few patties in a 5 gal. bucket fill with water, let stand for a week or so, then use liquid "tea" watered down a tad. It's great for all. Refill with water after each use. This will last for a loooong time. Chicken is better but you have too many weeds in it unless you purchase the kind that has been baked.
    I've heard of manure troughs--Wonder if the manure helps feed the plants?

  16. Lola, I have hummingbirds too but have never seen a yellow one before! What is it called? We have the Ruby Red throat here in GA...

    Burned mess in the burn pit today for several more hours. We have burned for two days and still more to burn and more to pick up. We never got around to getting the two downed trees up in the front woods. Other stuff got in the way.. Okay, we got sidetracked, but those things needed to be done as well... Need to make a list I guess and stick to the order. Na, what fun would that be.... Ha ha....

    We have tons and I mean tons of Cardinals in the yard. We have some doves also but they seem to be the resident hawks favorite choice of food so their numbers seem to stay at about a dozen if that for us. So far the crows do not get to our feeders. They do eat corn from below the Deer corn bucket though.

    I wrote the Pet People Blog for today so I was able to delete the Chic Handsome post. I fear it may be Spam and I dont like that at all so I deleted it in case it could be trouble...

  17. no, no, nooo, Mom, all wrong the ? is only the end of the sentence. The @ is his swirled hair and ; is the winking and } is his snarl in his lips. It's his face sideways like the smile or frown---- :) or :(

  18. PS- Boo to the spamer, what is that anyway? Gosh, a way to collect hits?

  19. PSS_ those pots DO help the plants, I saw them made on dirty jobs (my daughters fave) They are called poo pots and like peat pot they are bio-degradeable. The man has made a fortune.

  20. Hi guys,
    Just a short note tonight to say hi. Tough night in the garden moving big trees in the dark and building arbors. Not enough energy for anything all talk!

  21. Jack of all trades just reminded me that lives is a ANAGRAM for Elvis not a acronym. DUH! I came across it when Zack did his Mt Rushmore on Clint Eastwood, his amagram is Old West Action. DUH! Maybe you had your senior moment do to your kid!

  22. Dawn with Peaches, we did see the pots on Dirty Jobs! He is great with his jokes on the dirty stuff. Especially the poo jokes... LOL...

    It looks as though a lot of thought went into the Elvis anagram! Someone has way too much time on their hands. LOL...

  23. Lola I also really like the hummingbirds. They really are amazing. I never heard of a yellow one and I bet it is gorgeous.

    I think my favorite bird to watch is the Killdeer. They are so cute and when they play wounded it is really neat.

    When it comes to the color in birds I think we all know that the male always have more color and the same is true for fish.

    Glad you explained that Dawn cause I would never have gotten it and I agree with Skeeter that someone has too much time on his hands but he probably got his 15 mintues of fame out of it.

  24. Again I'm back a blog. I don't know what the yellow hummer's name is. I only know he was gorgeous but atlas he was there only that summer. He probably was way off course. I think I'll try the net to see what kind he was.
    My husband use to sit on deck with red cup of coffee & you guessed it they would dive bomb him. They love red. Wonder if that is the only color they see.
    I've seen the killdeer act that way. Really convincing.

  25. Jean, this past fall, I talked about a Killdeer on the Pet People Blog. I did not know what the bird was at first until I looked him up in the book. It was on the mulch in the parking lot of one of our Lowes stores! We kept an eye on him and he stayed there for over a month! One time I got out of the car to check to see if I could see the nest and I had taken only a few steps towards the area, and here came the noisy bird chasing me. Thought he was going to get me! I ran back to the car and was upset I had disturbed him. I had no idea he was near the area. His colors blended in so well in the mulch! I have since seen one in the landscaping at a bank also. They are beautiful birds!

  26. Oh darn Skeeter I wish I had been going to the pet blog when you did it on the killdeer cause they are really neat birds. We have them on our lawn every year. They have their babies in a rut in the lawn and stay quite a while. The moms and dads (there is always several familes at one time (just in different little holes) take turns walking around the lawn to act like they are wounded to keep you away from the babies. As well as being pretty birds their antics amaze me. After a while the babies walk around. Last year we had a robin family have babies in a shed where we keep the riding mower and it was low enough we could watch the babies grow. That was neat also.

  27. glad, so glad to see you all talking-no tina needed here!

    i think i have heard about those pots but never seen them. another thing i have learned on this blog-skeeter for bringing it up and dawn with peaches for telling me where to look! i occasionally watch that show and it is very, very funny. someone has to do those jobs right? and the guy made a mint? sounds like a good job to me!

    i don't think i have seen a killdeer. sounds neat. since skeeter is a member on this blog we will hear about all those neat animal things mom, but i know you read sandy's blog regularly anyhow.

    i will be doing a bird post so if you can find the owl pictures and get me a few mom, i will post them. if anyone else a special picture or two they would like to share as well, send it on to

    lola, i am not sure if hummers see only red or not. it does seem they are attracted to it. they do eat from other plants that are not red too. hostas and impatiens are a favorite around here. especially the impatiens. you would not believe they could get so much nectar from the flowers but they do. do the hummers stay year round in florida lola? i am not sure.

    dawn with peaches, anagrams make you really think-i mean really. i never would've gotten old west action from clint eastwood-and it is so him. remember the good the bad and the ugly? still one of my favorite spagetti westerns.

    i just heard the other day that john wayne is still one of the most admired actors of all time when people are polled. did anyone else hear that? i loved his acting and movies. movies sure have changed alot. haven't they?

  28. btw, i figured out how to delete chic-handsome. hope it doesn't happen again. how does someone post spam like that anyhow?

  29. btw, i figured out how to delete chic-handsome. hope it doesn't happen again. how does someone post spam like that anyhow?

  30. oops. two posts from me too-it happens sometimes! it is ok!

  31. Hi Tina,
    No sadly the Hummers do not stay here all year. I see the first sighting around middle to last of March. Then by around middle of Nov. they are gone.
    I have impatience that come up volunteer every yr. & the Hummers love them.

    Has anyone seen the corn cob that is not corn on the cob? It is compressed corn & it lasts a lot longer. I get that to feed the squirrels. For some reason I don't have as many as I use to.

  32. Most all hummingbird feeders and liquid for them are red which leads people to think they are attracted to or only see red. I once read an article on that and the article said that was not the case. It is the scent that attracts them and if you just put clear water and sugar out for them they will find it.

    I also read that about John Wayne and he was great. Movies sure are not what they used to be but every now and them one comes out that is really great and I think the new one "Bucket" will be a great one. I think that is the name of it, may have another word or 2 in the title, can't remember for sure. Anyway, Jack Nickleson (probably spelled wrong) stars in it and I don't think (usually, anyway) you can go wrong with him. I think he is a genius when it comes to acting.

    I have not seen the compressed corn Lola but it sounds like it would be a good thing.

  33. mom, sugar water is what i put out. one part sugar to four parts water. works like a charm. but the sugar water is in a red container. do you have hummers up there?

    sorry your hummers don't stick around lola. i haven't seen compressed corn to feed the squirrels, but i think for fireplaces? if the corn will keep the squirrels from the feeders-great!

    btw. did i mention these pups are destined for new england? rhode island and vermont i think. the one lady is from vermont and when she called me, she said, "this is your sister from vermont". i laughed and told her i actually have a sister near the vermont border. she wanted to know how the heck i wound up down here. but here i am and here i stay-in the south!

  34. Yes we have hummers but not as long as you do. They are here by May but leave in Sept. I used to have a feeder out front and back but gave up as not many came, esp. out front and the one out back I would never see them. They would come right up to the window at Mary's so I put a feeder at the window and we sat right by the window so really saw them up close. When Terri-Lynn was married to Emery they got tons of them but they had no sun in the yard as the house was built in the middle of trees.

    You did mention the dogs were headed for New England in the beginning but I actually had forgot that little tid bit of info.

    I guess Dave did'nt post what the plant of the week was last night. I keep checking and Skeeter had asked about it also. Guess Skeeter and I are the curious buggers (the dictionary says it is good to be curious about the world around you). Like I always say knowledge makes the world go round and being curious leads to knowledge. Some may say curiosity is being nosey (is that how you spell it?).

    Dawn has not been on. Was hoping the appraiser was coming in am and Dawn would have a chance after to let us know but maybe she won't get the amount today anyway. I think it will be higher than what she expects, lot higher.

  35. Mom,
    If dawn comes on and posts her appraisal amount, I'd be very surprised. That is not something you would put on a forum like this. You will have to email her or call!

  36. Jean, I have also heard Curiosity Killed the Cat! If so, my little nosy stinkers would be 6 feet under!

    The compressed corn cobs are great until the raccoons find them! They will eat one up in two days or take the thing off into the woods with them if they can get it off the feeder!

    I just read a small book this past weekend on hummingbirds. Here are a few facts yall might find interesting...

    **The only hummer to stay put in the winter is the Anna's hummingbird which stays along the west coast year round.
    **Hummers take about 13 licks per second of sugar water or nectar!
    **It is not necessary to dye sugar water. Feeders with red parts will get their attention. While red blooms draw them in, they will feed from any color flower that produces nectar.
    **They have poor sense of smell. They rely on sight to find food.
    **Hummers have feet and legs but cannot walk!
    **High winds do not blow them around. They take shelter in bad weather.
    **On cold days, they can go into a state of torpor, where they might appear to be dead. When the bird warms up, it will return to normal!
    **Hummers do not eat honey. Honey contains spores that may be fatal to hummers

  37. Hi Guys,
    Just reading about the hummers reminded me, Lola are you sure it was male? I had 2 females (they are bigger) both of them had green on their tummies but the younger female had more yellow. Anyway you slice it they are very cute birds and also my favorite. I came to close to a nest once and got hummed over my head, just heard it and fell the breeze. Thought it was the biggest squito I ever saw! That was my intro to them.

  38. Dawn, I don't know if it was a male or not. It was bigger than the other hummers I had. I did not notice any other color on it but I'm sure there was. It also didn't stay around like the others. Still haven't found any info on the yellow. Not total yellow like this one.

    The compressed corn is supposed to last as long as up to 24 ears of corn. I live in town so I don't have to many critters. Wish I had more than I have. I love to watch.