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Everything posted by Sherri

  1. Well, as an update, 2-3 blue jays returned about 3 weeks ago, along with a handful of squirrels, but nothing like the amount I had. The hawk got another pigeon during this time. It's funny - before the 2-3 jays came back, I would hear them calling in the woods behind our house, and I would toss the peanuts high in the air to come down in the preferred spot, but none would show up. So when they finally did, I thought it would be way more than 3. I'm still hopeful that my flock (or a new flock) will return.
  2. For about 4-5 weeks now, my Blue Jay and squirrel population has dwindled to barely anything, when it used to be I couldn't count the number of each. I've also just lately noticed that there are hardly any cardinals either. The only two things I can attribute this to (and the first is very iffy) is No. 1) I moved 1 bird feeder pole to another area (due to soft, sinking earth) with the flat plank on the stump remaining there, from which the blue jays, cardinals, and squirrels ate nuts and seed; or No. 2), we have had visits from a hawk (I'm pretty sure a Cooper's), who has killed and taken two mourning doves. Now, what's strange is we have had a hawk in and out of our yard for the past several years - it has never relocated our bird or squirrel populations. And I did think that maybe there is an over-abundance of naturally occurring food right now, but again, this can't be the only year that there is, as I've fed birds and squirrels here for the past 12 years, with this current mystery never happening. It has gotten so weird, that come the next morning, I am still seeing peanuts at feeding places, untouched, as well as SHELLED peanuts! Some of the bird feeders are often untouched as well come morning. The peanut brand I buy is the same (unsalted, of course), and the bird seed brand is the same few we've always used. The sparrow and goldfinch population, chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers and titmice, are all looking about the same, population-wise. But this eerie, "no flock of blue jays dive-bombing for the peanuts" and "no squirrels playing on the tree trunks" mystery is disheartening. I can hear blue jays sometimes calling, and I'll see one in the yard grabbing a peanut, sometimes catching a drink at the birdbath (clean water always), but the flock is gone. Any ideas, anyone? I miss my jays and squirrels terribly. They used to come running/flying to the sound of me tossing peanuts! It was my daily morning routine, before filling the feeders. Can one Cooper's Hawk cause this disappearance?
  3. Thanks so much! I've never heard that term. I'm very excited to have this strange little guy in my life!
  4. I've had this visitor to the yard for a few weeks now. He is aloof, not hanging around the other blue jays, and was witnessed fighting with one this morning. Has anyone seen one like this? He almost looks like Nature wanted to make him and albino, and then said, "Nah!", and stopped mid-way! I know this photo is a little grainy, but you can definitely see, by the regular blue jay near him, how muted and grayed out his main feathers are, with just a hint of the regular blue on his wing bars. By the way, I live in Western Maryland, just outside of Cumberland. I've fed the blue jays for years and years (very spoiled, they are!), and this is the first time I've seen a version like this!) (the photo may be turned sideways - I can't get the software system to comply)
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