My Blue Jays
They were a lovely pair that nested near my house all year long. One never seemed to be without the other. If he was on the ground she was in a nearby tree singing her praise. If she was eating from the seed he was above her with protective eyes. The two of them flew from pine tree to pine tree chittering and crooning. When danger was near, whether it was a cat or a hawk, I could hear the Blue Jays’ warning screeches from inside even with the windows shut. I watched for my Blue Jay pair daily and drew such enjoyment from watching them interact. I got to watch a nest one year that held their baby Blue Jays. I could hear the babies crying from the nest and see the tops of their tiny heads if I stood on my tiptoes. The proud parents must have trusted me somewhat because they never screeched at the sight of me. I loved those babies. I counted them each time I peeked in the nest. If I heard the hawk I worried endlessly about the babies until I saw four tiny heads bobbing around. One day they were just gone. I still hope they grew up, learned to fly and found mates of their own.
Even after the nest emptied my Blue Jay couple stayed in my yard. One day I walked out onto my porch for some air and I saw a small blue feather on the ground and heard the hawk scream in the distance. I also heard a Blue Jay screech a warning. My heart fell into my stomach when I heard the lone warning as I picked up the feather. I followed the sound of the single Blue Jay to a pine tree in my backyard. I looked up and saw the male Blue Jay on a branch still crying out. Below him rested his lady love in a heap on the pine needles. I quickly ran over and peered down at the still form and noticed her eyes were staring back at me, trailing my every move. Everything got silent at that point. The beautiful girl stared at me and I thought no no no over and over. I could see her breathing rapidly. I ran back to the house to get a towel to pick her up and take her to the vet – although I had no idea what they could’ve really done for her. I got the towel and rushed back to the tree where her mate was still watching and waiting silently. But by time I made it back the rapid breathing had stopped and her eyes were no longer shiny. She had died. I take comfort in knowing she did not die alone. But my heart still breaks for my lonely male bird that now flies solo. He still sits on the same branch above where his loves body had been and waits for her to come back to him.