you woke me not with
singing, but with squawks—crowlike,
insistent and loud—
a flash of blue amid oak leaves,
glittering with morning sun
I read online that bands of blue jays making a racket are often harassing a predator–must have been a hawk about the other morning.
I will continue to do draw-a-bird day here, but I’ve been posting at kblog while Nina is taking an extended break. Once she returns, I’ll be back at MeMadTwo regularly again. In the meantime, visit me at my other site!
I thought I saw blue jays, but red feathers and whistles turned them into cardinals. I thought I saw cardinals, but the starlings stole their song. I thought I saw starlings, but they grew huge and then they laughed in a raucous crow chorus.
Which bird? you ask, which
bird?—sparrows, tiny sparrows–
wings to wish upon
This is based on a fragment of a dream that came back to me with the birds in the morning. All five birds mentioned are often both heard and seen outside my windows and doors (and, apparently, also in my dreams).
blue on blue–feathers
echoing sky holding sun
as wings scatter light
Blue Jay feathers are not really blue, but appear so because of the way the light reflects off of them. At least that’s what all the bird websites say…
I am on call for Federal Jury duty the next 2 weeks. Not sure what it means for getting anything done, but no electronics allowed in Federal Court–including phones–and I have to call every night to see if I need to show up the next day. I may be around, or not.
The birds have been extra-present around here this spring…I can hear them waking the day right now. Happy Draw-a-Bird Day!
In one hop
the jay turns his back on me,
dips as though about to drink
the air itself, and flies.
–Philip Levine, “The Rat of Faith”
Blue Jays are related to crows, and like crows they are loud and intelligent. Excellent mimics, they especially like to use the calls of hawks to keep other birds away from food sources. They also use their crest to communicate.
Although they have a reputation for stealing other birds’ eggs, blue jays are largely vegetarian. They have a fondness for acorns, and can often be found near oak trees. Their reputation for aggression is also also overstated, as studies have shown many other birds, including woodpeckers, mockingbirds, and cardinals, to be more contentious.
Blue jays are known to migrate, although little is known about where they go and why, since individual birds may migrate one year and stay put the next.
Put a link to your bird post in the comments and Nina and I will include you in the Round-Up we do with all the birds for March.
And you can read the rest of Philip Levine’s poem here.
Media used for drawings, from top to bottom: neocolor, gouache, ink pen, watercolor pencils