Neighbourhood Dispute – Don’t Make a Peep

There has been a battle going on in the backyards of my neighbourhood for the last couple of weeks as our spring/summer bird populations have been doing their best to provide for their newly hatched chicks. I have felt alternately privileged and  horrified to witness this display of nature, as the battles rage from yard to yard.

It all starts innocently enough, with a peep/peep/peep from the sparrow birdhouses in our neighbours’ back yard. Mom and Dad sparrow flit back and forth with food for their chicks, but when they leave to look for the next morsel, noisy interlopers appear with a flash of blue and white.

The poor little sparrows’ Moms and Dads dash back and swoop and dive at the Blue Jays to drive them away from the nest and keep them on a Vegetarian diet. The jays begrudgingly comply, while circling the houses and yards, looking for a new angle to attack from.

Meanwhile, from the back of our yard comes this soft squealing sound that I finally associated with the Blue Jays brood. I guessed maybe there were one or two jay chicks, but could never pinpoint where they were located…my yard…the neighbours’ yard…or somewhere else.

Today, I was working outside when the ruckus kicked up again. I grabbed my camera and sat back to await my chance. It did not take long, as the chicks had very little fear of humans at this point and I was able to get as close as 5 feet away. Even momma Jay did not seem to care that I was close by, as she flew back and forth, feeding, not one, not two, not three, but seven chicks. No wonder, she has been pestering the sparrows so mercilessly. We are living in a bird eat bird world, apparently. Here are….

The feuding neighbours…

 

Some shots of the kids…

 

My favourite shots…

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The feeding sequence…

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The lowly sparrows.

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Later that evening, we again saw the disastrous results for the sparrows, as the nest raiding came to a climax. According to the internet, blue jays do not deserve the title “nest raiders” as a whole. Stomach content evidence seems to show that only about 1% of those in these studies have egg or nestlings in their digestive tract. Just our luck, we would have some one percenters in our yard. I guess desperate times call for desperate measures.

P.S. A few weeks later, I switched to the Blue Jays side, as the pesky sparrows (plenty remained) nibbled away on my garden lettuce and beets. A “Googled” Merlin Falcon call served to make them scatter, at least until i went back into the house.

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4 thoughts on “Neighbourhood Dispute – Don’t Make a Peep

  1. Correct and at least, they do not eat my Romaine lettuce. They also get my vote for taking on the crows. We are lucky here, as we have a Burr Oak in the yard and once the acorns are close to ripe, the blue Jays descend to eat them. Our resident squirrel does not like this. Thanks for your comment and thanks for reading Lynette. Allan

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  2. Great sequence of photos Allan. It’s great when the birds make nests in our yards – and we can see them hatch and grow up. We had a family of Steller Jays in our cedar tree in the back yard. Loved waking up every morning to hearing them call their mother – not. lol. But they are still wonderul

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    1. Some people would say y photography is for the birds and I would take that as a compliment. They continue to intrigue and amaze me. Thanks for dropping a line. Allan

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