Yesterday I revealed how we had finally figured out who was stealing Mr Blue Jay’s corn cobs. After several days of the cobs disappearing, we were able to catch the small Grey Squirrel in the act yesterday! We just had to look all over the garden to find the little thief!
To take the cob of corn, Dyson had to drag it for about 2 metres, pull it down steps and then 2 flower boxes. Once on the ground, he had moved it about 3 metres out of sight of the Blue Jays – and us.
I had no idea that these little squirrels were so strong. Persistent, yes, when it comes to food but, strong? The corn cobs are heavy when they have almost all the kernels on them. And this cob had only a few bites taken out of it before Dyson started moving it.
The Blue Jay family could not figure out what happened to their corn.
The real question was how to stop this activity. Dyson has lots of food – year round. Him and the other two grey squirrels have been coming to our garden for many years – 2016 for one of them. We have learned to identify them through different markings on their fur and we do keep a log. I have no idea how long urban Grey Squirrels normally live but having a penthouse (our shed) and readily available food, the vet told me she bet these three could live to be ten years old. They have no real predators other than the neighbourhood well-fed cats. The hawk that visits the garden is a Sharpie and him and his mate only take a small bird or nestling. So to cut to the chase, Dyson does not need to take Mr Blue Jay’s corn!!!!!!!!! There is never any chance that he would starve – he is just being a squirrel.
As all of you know, Blue Jays are part of the Corvid family, like Crows. These oscine passerine birds include crows, Mr Blue Jay and Company, Ravens, Magpies, Rooks, Jackdaws, Choughs, and nutcrackers. Most just say Crow Family.
Corvids are super intelligent, problem-solving birds. It seems that Mr Blue Jay was figuring out how to stop the squirrel, too, and he devised a very good method! I believe this is how it worked as I watched with camera in hand today for nearly three hours.
One of the three Blue Jays would land and watch the corn from the lilac bushes, about two metres away.
In this instance, Dad is watching from the lilac branches. He is ready to fly at Dyson if he comes near the deck where the other two are eating the corn.
Two of the Blue Jays would go down to the corn. This is Mum and their ‘baby’. Mum is nearer the corn cob.
When Mum finished eating, she flew away.
Junior went over to eat the corn under the watchful surveillance of Dad who remained in the lilacs.
While Junior ate, Mum was watching to make sure that Dyson did not come up on the deck, too.
When Junior finished, he flew off with Mum.
Would Dyson try and get the corn cob?
No way! Dad flew down to eat off a second cob of corn that I had put out. He was hungry too!
Junior flew back down to work on the other cob at the same time. Mum watched from the lilacs.
Sometimes Mum would fly down to be beside Junior and eat some corn, too.
They shared the one cob while Dad claimed the other.
There was no way that they were letting Dyson get their corn if Mum had to stand on it all day!
All of a sudden the pair become alert! They stop eating. Do they hear Dyson coming?
They look around.
Mum goes back to eating but Junior seems to think that Dyson might be coming up the other side of the deck. He seems to be listening and looking.
Junior turns all the way around.
Then all of a sudden Junior flies off.
It happened so fast I could not get a picture. Dyson had crept up to the other corn cob after Dad had left and had grabbed a kernel. Junior flew at him and sent him through the flower box over the edge of the deck.
Dyson did not come back all afternoon!
The Blue Jays were able to finish their corn cobs in peace. They figured out a wonderful way to get to eat their corn working together – way before this human came up with a plan. It was quite amazing to watch over several hours. I was truly impressed.
Wonder what will happen in the garden tomorrow?
Thank you for joining me this Friday. I hope that you are all well. Be happy. See you soon!