Saturday, November 29, 2008
A blue jay's diet
I often catch a glimpse of a blue jay foraging in the main vegetable garden out the kitchen window or mudroom door window. I've always assumed that seeds or insects were the food of choice in the vegetable garden, but seeing a jay again this morning had me thinking.
I knew blue jays have a broad diet -- The Birders Handbook lists "insects, other invertebrates, small vertebrates, carrion, bird eggs, nestlings, but mostly acorns, fruit, nuts, seeds."
But, since it's a cold rainy day (we're thankful for the rain), and we've had temperatures below freezing for a number of nights already, any insects still around are in very sheltered spots.
So, as I wondered out loud about what the blue jay was eating, my gardening companion said, "earthworms?" and I smartly replied, "they don't eat earthworms" ...
A minute later the blue jay returned, nabbed an earthworm about where the arrow points, much to the glee of my gardening companion (whose knowledge of bird foraging habits is not deep). Hmm, I guess earthworms ARE invertebrates, after all.