Fledgling Encounter

The late morning heat and humidity had increased well past my tolerance levels.  The bright side, was that I was more than half finished with the yard mowing chore.  As I readied my aim for another row of cutting, the left front wheel of the mower tapped one of my many trees.

Out of my peripheral vision, I noticed something fall out of the tree.  I felt startled and instinctively looked at the ground where the object had landed.  I saw an immature bird. 

Right away, I let go of the safety bar on the lawn mower so the electric motor would halt and not frighten the bird.

Moments later, two more birds plummeted past me and bounced to the grass.  That’s when I noticed that I was looking at three blue jay fledglings.  I backed away to search for the source of the little creatures.  That’s when I saw two more fledglings trying to fly, but mostly falling.  The pair landed next to their siblings on the ground.

The mother was perched on a branch, supervising her family’s activities.  She screeched a few times, then flew away to the west and vanished into the grove of trees at the property line.

The half grown blue jays still seemed stunned but were familiarizing themselves with the experience of ground and lawn.  The five were grouped together.  They began jumping and hopping.  Their little wings extended and flapped a few times.  Then the group hopped and half flew to the riverbank.

The mother jay screeched her “jay jay” scream.  That’s when I noticed that the orange neighborhood stray cat was near.  The cat and I made eye contact.  The feline slinked into the brush.  The fledglings blundered the other way towards some small trees on the riverbank.  Momma jay flew east to perch in a tree near her young family.  Then I lost track of the birds.  The cat glared at me from the safety of the wild brushy growth of small trees and grasses.

It was time to arrange the power cord, push the power switch, squeeze the safety bar, then continue with my lawn mowing chore.  The rest of the job went quickly as I recounted how I’d witnessed something humans rarely get to experience.  It amazed me that the little birds landed within one metre of my feet.

I thought back at how I wanted to hold my camera to capture the moment, but I was too astonished and stunned to move.  I knew that I’d miss something rare and special if I even ran into the house to fetch the camera.  The mood would have been spoiled and the continuity of my own experience would have been broken.

I did know that I was grinning and feeling elation because of the experience.

I wonder if I’ll share in their formative weeks.  Will the jays be my special friends?  Will they be like last year’s blue jay who came around for snacks of garlic bread? 

I can only hope.


The Blue Jay of Happiness notes that in spite of the name of this blog, this is the first blue jay specific post.

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Hometown, story time, Wildlife and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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