Thursday October 6th 2011 Tim Candler
This year from the
Blue Jay community there is a Southward trend. Don't actually
recall the impression I gleaned from them last autumn, but in autumns
past I have seen them trending Northward. It's a confused and
apparently aimless procession they have, and no doubt my own Blue
Jay theories also have flaws.
But it seems to me that as seasons
change Blue Jays travel. I'll see a stream of them.
Fourteen, fifteen, twenty. Which is not an insignificant number,
especially when they call to each other as they fly in that loud and
hair-raising way. This procession and its noise has always struck
me as containing reluctance. They are not going to a funeral, it's more
like the first day of school when there is perfectly good television at
home to watch. Which is why I believe oversight of communal
behavior in Blue Jays is the purview of something like a poorly
motivated drill sergeant or a mystic.
There are some Blue Jays who don't
join the procession. They take no notice of it. These Blue jays are not
moved by peer pressures, or gloom. They do not see the stars and
wonder. They have nuts to hunt down and bury, which is a busy and all
consuming purpose. So I have asked the question why, and I have
answered it by telling myself the difference between Processional Blue Jays
and Non-Processional Nut Hunting Blue Jays is Blue Jay age. Which is a
totally un-quantified leap that only a pedant would apologize for.
I will say the Nut Hunter is
an older Blue Jay. It's the younger ones that are drawn by an ancient
and half seen memory of greener and taller trees somewhere else, and it's the
old fools who dabble around in the cut grass, hide Acorns in the Perennial
Border, sit in the Apple tree to forget.