RSS Feed (xml)

Powered By

Skin Design:
Free Blogger Skins

Powered by Blogger

Monday, March 27, 2006

First Blood

Thursday, I was up at 3am for the drive to the airport. By 9am, I was in Tampa, and half an hour later, I was in my rental car speeding south to Oscar Scherer State Park south of Sarasota in search of Florida Scrub-Jay.

At the park entrance, the attendant indicated that the jays could be found on the Yellow Trail at the end of the pavement. Walking down the trail, all I could hear were Blue Jays and I was starting to worry that this would be a long search. About 300 yards down the trail, I heard the familiar ruck-ruck-ruck-ruck call of a scrub-jay, and suddenly three birds appeared less than ten feet away in the low bushes.

I had heard that the jays at another location were tame and would come to your hand if you had peanuts for them (check out this photo by Joel Sartore). Feeding is not allowed at Oscar Scherer, but I held out my fist as if I had something hidden in my hand. In an instant, one of the birds flew up and landed on my hand and started trying to pry my fingers apart. When that didn’t work, the bird started pecking vigorously on the knuckle of my hand (I suppose a clenched finger must look a bit like a giant acorn to a scrub-jay)!

I opened my hand, the bird looked at it for a moment, and then flew away. As I was watching it, another jay scared me when it tried to land on my head. I watched the three birds for a few more minutes, and then, just as suddenly as they appeared, they were gone.

I’ve had close encounters with some amazing birds, but this was the first time a life bird (one I haven’t seen before) has drawn blood!

No comments:

Nature Blog Network Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites