The Blue Jay and the Twig

Blue Jay sitting

This Blue Jay squawked and circled the trees before landing on a specific branch. Several birds called from the trees, including a fly catcher and a woodpecker, so fortunately I had my camera set up and trained on the clump of trees already. I watched as the Jay landed, looked around, and then chose a small twig to its left and started biting it. I saw no bugs, berries, or other potential food. As I watched the bird grabbed, twisted, and pulled on the on the twig, finally snapping it off. At first I had no idea why, so I just photographed, observed, and waited. In spite of the nice looking twig on the other side, it kept working that one. After a few minutes, it took off triumphant. It took me a minute to realize that the twig remained in its beak as it flew, likely to help build or repair a current nest.

Blue Jay 1

Blue Jay getting twig

Why that specific twig, who knows? Sticks covered the ground, why not the easy pickings on one already detached? Then again, why do we choose the house we choose and each decorate in our own way? I realize this seems a bit anthropomorphic, but after years of observing birds for my own interest and for scientific and citizen science reasons, I often have more questions than answers.

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