August 28, 2016
I love bluejays.
They're better mannered than doves and grackles. These guys act like they haven't had a meal in days what with all the pushing and shoving that went on.
Don't let this pair fool you. They're perched there because they were shoved out of the seed pool. See her looking for a way back in?
This one looks like she lost her head, doesn't she? Ah, but the beauty in that wing spread. I enjoy taking pictures when they dine. I get the best models on Earth for peanuts. And corn, and sunflower seeds, rice and other great grains. They're fond of popcorn and cornbread too.
It's time to do their fair form justice; it's time I drew real birds more often. It's funny but I never thought of birds as having breasts. I think of them as being singular. That just came to me when I noticed that the one in the middle could use a bra.
I usually draw my silly birds with three tail feathers. Who knows why, but photos give me a better understanding of the color placements on feathers I find in the yard. And don't you love the doves with the rad eye shadow like Mimi's from the old Drew Carey Show?
Theirolors are surprisingly different. Could they change to match the colors of their feathers? There's so much to wonder about. Sure, I could buy more bird books but I'm willing to bet some of you fellow bird lovers know the answer, and you're just itching to drop me a line or two to share your knowledge.
I've enjoyed the beauty of bluejays all my life but only recently discovered this:
- The pigment in Blue Jay feathers is melanin, which is brown. The blue color is caused by scattering light through modified cells on the surface of the feather barbs.
- The black bridle across the face, nape, and throat varies extensively and may help Blue Jays recognize one another.
Bluejays have melanin. Wow. Did you know??? I wonder if they lose melanin with age like people. I'm steadily losing mine. I miss it.
Do you know why certain doves and pigeons hang out in different parts of town? I've seen red pigeons (I think they were pigeons!) in Houston but never in Katy. Black ones too. I feed a variety of colored doves and they forever fascinate me; the same bird with so many color variations blows my mind a little bit.
And did you know jays molt twice a year? Well their heads do. I confess my ignorance. I saw this friend yesterday and I cried some. Instant guilt descended onto my shoulders like a heavy mantle. Had I fed him GMF? GMS? Had I given then poisoned rain water? I bought a new hose recently and made sure it was a safe-to-drink-from hose. JC and the young guy at Home Depot had never heard of drink safe hoses. And don't you know the one who knows me snickered at me being weird? He was embarrassed for me until the young male did due diligence and searched until he found said hose. Did I smirk back? Nope? I simply paid $30 and went on about my business.
This little baldy came to eat only after all the others left. I felt its shame. It was too embarrassed to eat with the crowd because it had lost its crown.. Silly me. Silly, silly me! I rushed inside and Googled "bald bluejays." Enlightenment gave me permission to laugh out loud at my own gnorance. I wanted to share this in Bird Mail but it would mean printing copy after copy of the little bird, trimming print after print, addressing and stamping envelope after envelope, and hoping all the while that I wasn't simply sending out a bunch of boring bird mail. Y'all are too polite to tell me if I had, so please read about it here, and forgive me for taking time you can never call back after reading this, especially if you don't like birds, and are just too kind to say so. No matter. You're gonna be blown away by my next before-Christmas mail campaign. But only if I can pull it off. Sometimes I get a wild hair that never sees maturation--it just festers and passes on.
See you in the mail!
I wrote some regular mail too. See? A real letter in response to another real letter. There are five altogether. Five fulfilled. Many more to go.