Baby Blue Jay
Backyard Ornithology – The Study of Birds
One of the best ways to homeschool science is to simply watch the world around you and learn!
I was outside giving my three big dogs a much needed bath when my son brings me a baby blue jay who had presumably fell from its nest. He had it in a cage already with a pan of water. In his mind it was his new pet.
I told him to just put it on the porch out of the reach of the dogs while I finished up my chore and cleaned up. I knew I needed to intervene of this little Baby Blue would not survive in human care!
About 30 minutes later, I finally was able to get a look at the little guy. He was a fledgling, although not fully feathered out, he was hopping around in the cage some and squawking! Not knowing how long he was displaced, we fed him a couple pieces of earthworm. I would wait for him to squawk and put a piece of worm in his mouth after the first successful feeding he would open his mouth when he saw my hand coming near. He continued to squawk, I was sure he calling for his parents.
Knowing his parents had to be somewhere nearby, wondering where their baby went and would most likely take care of him if we could reunite them. We decided to try to move the cage closer to the area where Baby Blue was found. We had hope that his squawking would draw his parent’s attention. In just a few minutes, we saw the parents come to a nearby tree and then a few minutes later they were brave enough to get in the cage and feed Baby Blue!
The parents took turns swooping in and then flying off. They would feed him and then again, swoop in and fly off. They were wanting him to follow! But there was a problem, Baby Blue couldn’t get out of the cage. I took the risk of upsetting the parents (and possibly getting clobber by a beak) and took Baby Blue out of the cage and place him in my husbands wheelbarrow that was setting by our gazebo close to where Baby Blue was found. We didn’t want to just put him on the ground in fear our cats or dogs would get him.
Again, the parents would feed him and then swoop back and forth trying to get him to follow. We would see a flutter of wings from Baby Blue but he was unable to get out of the wheelbarrow. Finally, I decided to just put him on the ground again. We sat vigilant watching that no cat came in the yard and put the dogs up where they couldn’t bother the birds.
Baby Blue’s parents started their swooping again and this time he could somewhat follow!
As we sat and watched nervously, he hopped and waddled until he made it to the tree line! His parents went back to feeding him and watching over him. We sat out watching over him until dusk and we came in hoping Baby Blue would be fine through the night.
The next morning my husband went out to check on Baby Blue and sure enough, there he sat under the poison ivy, peering up at my husband. A quick look around verified that the parents were still being Baby Blues protectors from a nearby tree.
Knowing that I would have to let the dogs out we decided to put up a temporary fence to keep the dogs away from him.
After breakfast, my son went out to check on him and he said Baby Blue wouldn’t stay in the fence. I said well put the dogs back up on the porch and all we can do is leave him alone and hope for the best.
By noon, when we checked on him, Baby Blue was gone. Maybe he finally took flight enough to make it to the trees, maybe he was hid better than we could see, maybe something else but it was a wonderful thing to observe how the parents were ever vigilant and had no problem taking him back even though we had fully handled him.
Makes me think of God. No matter how much the world has touched us, He will always take us back, nurture us, sustain us, watch over us, and take care of us. The true agape love of a parent!
Here is information from Audubon on what to do if you find a baby bird!