while we’ve always had blue jays living in the trees around our house, for whatever reason this is the first year we’ve seen multiple fledglings hopping around the yard, readying themselves for flight, but still quite dependent on their mothers for feeding.
my understanding is that if you see a fledgling on the ground with most of its feather intact, you’re supposed to leave them alone. they don’t need to be “rescued” and soon enough they’ll be flight worthy.
that is, if they can evade The Neighborhood Cats, of which there are many.
though it seemed a futile game of cat versus fledgling, we did our best to assist in the survival of the fittest by shooing away cats when we saw them sneaking up on their prey, while we ourselves attempted to avoid being dive bombed by their angry mother.
this one, in particular, appeared to “understand” we were Helpful Humans and didn’t screech at all when we were nearby which would have drawn the ire of his mother. i guess maybe he figured out his odds were better if we were close by keeping a watchful eye. so, maybe he’s smarter than his siblings. though i can’t say i agree with his strategy of sitting in the fence for long periods of time. while if offers an unobstructed view of any incoming predators, they, of course, also have a much better view of him.
though, maybe the fence-sittin-human-friendly strategy wasn’t so bad after all. his brother opted to stay hidden in another corner of the yard, mostly out sight. we never could tell exactly where he was until he started screeching when we approached, bringing the attention of his mother.
much to odin’s dismay, we discovered his strategy was not so successful.