Dennis and I were sitting in the dining room, chatting, when the Steller’s Jays showed up for dinner, as they do every day about 4 pm. (They’re early diners.) The usual scenario is this: one jay squawks, I stop what I’m doing, get up, go outside, and dump a bunch of unsalted peanuts-in-the-shell out of the big glass jar onto the patio table. (I am very well-trained.) Soon between four and six jays are grabbing peanuts, then taking them away to hide them. Maybe we were bored that day, I don’t remember. But we both had the same idea at the same time. Jays are corvids; corvids are smart; I wonder if they’d be able to get the peanuts out of the jar by themselves?
So, for that afternoon, we changed the game. Became amateur experimenters – and outrageous anthropomorphizers. (Is that a word?) You’ll notice in the photo captions below that I quickly took to projecting all kinds of human qualities on the birds. Please don’t be offended – it was all in fun!
This photo series shares just the highlights of the afternoon’s avian activities. It actually took the jays many more tries to figure it all out. And most of them just gave up and left. I don’t blame them.