Yesterday, a Western Scrub Jay suddenly made itself at home in the immediate neighborhood of my back yard. In addition, I could hear a Baby Scrub Jay somewhere next door. I was overjoyed! I started leaving food in places where the Mama Jay could easily reach it.
But why was this happening? So far this year, I hadn't noticed Scrub Jays taking up residence in the immediate neighborhood. They don't just appear from nowhere, you know.....
Listening more carefully, I realized the Baby Scrub Jay was somewhere on the ground in the neighbor's yard - where a cat lives!
Investigating in the neighbor's yard, sure enough, Mama Scrub Jay was spending the morning distracting and harassing the oafish cat. Fifteen feet away, Baby Scrub Jay was flapping away, trying to get its wings strong enough so it could depart from this dangerous situation. So, I helped out by carrying the cat into my front yard. The cat took umbrage and crossed the street, giving maybe a couple of hours of quiet time for the stressed Scrub Jay family.
This transitional state in late Spring, when birds can't quite fly and are prone to accident, lasts for only a couple of days, but it is a very hazardous time for them.