Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Study in Blue [Jay]

For Mary, who wanted more bird photos, and for Holly and Susan, who can't believe I actually am a birder.

Roger Tory Peterson's favorite bird
Cyanocitta cristata

I don't know about real bird photographers, but I find it really hard to get a good picture of a Blue Jay. For as big and bold and bright as they are, they are remarkably flighty. During my marathon picture-taking sessions last winter, I had tons of snaps of the place a Blue Jay used to be, and another gazillion out-of-focus, out-of-frame, out-of-touch shots of Blue Jays flying away, and only one or two keepers. I thought this one turned out all right.


Kathy said...

Nice picture of a beautiful bird! I've never seen a blue jay, since they aren't this far west. I've seen lots of Steller jays. Last winter I put out mouse trap mice for them to eat.

KatDoc said...


I was in California once, looking at birds in a park. I had my field guide opened to the page with jays, and had just decided that what I was seeing was a Stellar's Jay (nice bird, BTW!) when someone looking over my shoulder said, "OOOH! What a pretty bird! I would love to see one of those." When I saw what she was pointing at, it was a "common" Blue Jay. Just goes to show you, we don't always appreciate what we have right in front of us. A lot of people run down the Blue Jay, but I like him.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

I find this true with all bird photograpy. UGH Very frustrating.

Mary said...

And that one is not only "alright", it's one of the best! You must have been pretty close and hiding behind someting...

Thanks, Kathi - it's good to hear that others have trouble with Blue Jays :o)

I like them, too, even during the years they attacked my Mother's cat.

KatDoc said...


These photos and the rest to come were all digiscoped. I was on my enclosed back porch, using it as a bird blind, focusing on my feeders.

Blue Jays attacked my Dad once, years ago. He was trying to put a baby back in the nest. I still remember it, even thought I was pretty young at the time.


holly said...

Ok, I like blue jays. But I just got my aunt & uncle's Christmas card (Kathi, he's the birder, Maine summer resident and RV resident the rest of year) and in it she said "I'm looking out my window right now and there are 4 cardinals and 6 green jays at the feeder." So I had to go look up green jays, having never heard of them. Oh man...gorgeous.