Thursday, October 15, 2009

Breakfasts for Bubbas

As most of you are aware, we feed a large family of blue jays. To tell the truth, we started this three year habit by feeding Chip (the chipmunk) and his son, Stubby. They liked sunflower seeds. We then graduated to feeding Squirt, Squeaky, and Scooter, three squirrels that loved to hang around our deck. They got to eat walnuts at first, then we switched to more economical peanuts. Unfortunately the squirrels got too pushy and started climbing the screen door looking for more treats. We tried using a little water gun to shoo them off, but they liked getting soaked! Now Bubba, Babs, and all their little Bubbas hang out in the pussy willow tree every morning. When I open the drapes at the sliding door, Bubba lands on the fence and waits. I throw out four peanuts at a time and we watch as the blue jays flock to our deck to grab them. They have developed a few, cute habits worthy of comment. Most of Bubba's family now will weigh the peanuts before making a choice of which nut to fly off with. They hop around the deck picking up one nut after another, sometimes doing a second check of one they already lifted in their beak, until they find the largest and heaviest. One guy tries to take more than one nut at a time. He nearly swallows the first and then tries to wedge a second one in his already open beak. Only occasionally does he manage it. This is not an easy task! We throw out about 20 peanuts (still in the shell) each morning. With the last handful I generally tell them, "That's it. The restaurant is closed!" The Bubbas still return after closing and hop right up to the window of the sliding door and peer in, waiting for me to get up and head for the peanut bowl. My mom says she's just waiting until they start knocking on the glass with their beaks.


Annette said...

How lovely!
I would love to see that.It would cheer me up every morning to see those birds all line up waiting for their breakfastes!

deb said...

We do look forward to it. They all have their different mannerisms and some are more timid than others. Big Bubba hardly waits for me to shut the door he's so anxious for his peanut. Other ones seem to take forever before they have the nerve to land and sneak up sideways to get a nut. We left a small plastic margarine tub lid full of slivered almonds out there one time. Big Bubba danced around that thing several times before grabbing a bite. Once he tasted the almond he came back and tried to carry off the entire lidful. He only succeeded in dumping them all around!