We have a new neighbour. He is a bit shy, but sometimes he suddenly starts screaming. On the other hand, he never harms anyone and clears away any left over food. A real gentleman.
Oh, and it’s a bird. An Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius), that is!
About a week ago, I suddenly met him when I was on my way to the campus. A few days later, we met again. And now he is starting to become a regular around here. Yesterday evening, I had a good view of him from my window, and even succeeded in taking some pictures from him. I have to admit, I felt a bit like a paparazzo, or some creepy stalker or something, hanging out of my window with my camera for a full fifteen minutes. All for a picture of course! (Ok, maybe the picture is not even that great, but well, at least I have proof of the bird, right?)
Jays usually live in mixed woodlands, but are starting to become more common in urban areas. That is probably because of the continuing decrease of woodlands around the country.
Something that is very striking about the jay, is that he can mimic all sorts of sounds. Most of the time he uses a shrill alarm call, but he can also produce a range of other, acquired, sounds. He can even imitate the sound of the bird he is attacking, to prevent them from fleeing. Amazing, isn’t it?
Have you ever seen a jay in your area?