Wednesday/ a juvenile jay rescue

A Steller’s jay made such a ruckus in the tree in front of my house last night, that I had to go investigate. Sure enough, there was a second one on the ground, unable to fly. Oh no, I thought, I’ll have to do something.

I put the struggling bird in a shoebox, and left a message for the wildlife rescue center in Lynnwood. They called back in the morning.  I texted them these pictures, and they said to bring it in.

They found an injury below its left eye; could have been the work of a crow. It was also a little thin and they were going to take care of it for a while and set it free. What could also be going on, is that the bird is just learning to fly, said the bird expert. Most fledgling birds don’t fly straight out of the nest. They spend a day or two on the ground flapping their wings (and hope they don’t catch the attention of predators), and then get going.

I only noticed it was a juvenile in the morning (fluffy feathers on the sides).
The youngster started squawking loudly when I opened the box outside on my deck. Soon another jay showed up – possibly a parent. Jays are intelligent birds with complex social systems and family bonds. They can live up to 16 years of age.

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