Hector Hurries Off

Having posed so handsomely for his portrait, Hector the Handsome Devil then paid me the extra favor of displaying his gorgeous wings, just as I was firing an extra burst at 1/2000 of a second, on the off-chance that he’d hurry off just then.

What a considerate friend! I’ll show the remaining photographs of this portrait-in-motion below. Hector had lots of work to do, as he and his mate Harriott show all the signs of raising a new brood.

Contrary to myth, Blue Jays are among the most attentive and protective parents of any birds you might see in your garden. To quote the Washington Post:

“Even the mildest person walking within a few yards of a youngster can invite a fearless attack from a parent jay.

“With crest raised high in agitation, the jay mom or dad gains a high perch behind the perceived intruder. It may issue a deceptively sweet “bell call,” which resembles the sound of a squeaky door hinge. The jay swoops down to beat the human’s head with its wings, sometimes planting a peck or scrape to the scalp.”

In previous posts, I have explained the studies that show Blue Jays do not habitually eat the nests or offspring of other birds — a myth that was widely spread by a famous Audubon painting.

Quite the contrary, Blue Jays often have their own nestlings reduced to one or two, thanks to crows, snakes and squirrels that prey upon them, so they have developed zealous protective instincts to save the lives of whatever chicks survive. They are terrific at scaring off intruders — yes, even humans, so if you find a Jay dive-bombing you, be assured you are too near the nest.

Blue Jay parents are also awesome providers, exhausting themselves if necessary to make feeding trips. So I thank you profusely, my friend, and thank YOU, dear follower, for giving Hector-in-motion a like and a comment!

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