All of the bird feeders near our house are hanging feeders, so I recently put out a platform feeder with sunflower seeds and peanuts. I should have done that a long time ago. The feeder has been receiving a flurry of bird activity, so the bird watching has been great fun.
As you might expect, there has been a steady stream of chickadees and nuthatches at the feeder. But the blue jays have seemingly come out of nowhere to take advantage of the offerings. That has really been an added treat.
As some of you know, blue jays are particularly fond of peanuts in the shell, and they have been living up to their reputation. They have been eating the peanuts about as fast as I can put them out. Needless to say, I have been buying a lot of peanuts lately. With all the volatility in the stock market recently, you might want to invest a few dollars in peanut futures. Plus, if a few of you listeners put out more peanuts we could be in for a real windfall.
There have been groups of up to four blue jays frequenting the feeder. They typically fly into a nearby ash tree, perch for a couple seconds and survey the area. Then they swoop down, grab the peanut of their choice, and fly away to perch on a limb of tree and proceed to extract the peanuts from the shell. I watched them with a pair of binoculars and they appear to put one foot on the peanut and proceed to peck away at it until they extract the seed. They also occasionally fly out of my view, and I assume cache the peanuts in a safe place for a later lunch.
Sometimes the blue jays will stay at the feeder and stuff themselves with sunflower seeds before flying away to pig out on their booty or perhaps cache it. I am not sure how many sunflower seeds they can pack in, but by my count it is at least fifteen.
The blue jays have been fun to watch. Go outside and put some peanuts in a feeder for the blue jays. Then when you have to come back inside, sit back and watch the show.
Natural North Dakota is supported by NDSU Central Grasslands Research Extension Center and Minot State University-Bottineau, and by the members of Prairie Public. Thanks to Sunny 101.9 in Bottineau for their recording services.
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