Sunday, January 1, 2012

Lost Trademark

I saw something in the water ahead that looked to be a piece of trash, but I was too familiar with that blue color to not recognize what I was seeing.  I headed up to take a closer look.

The more animals you have in an area, the more likely it is that you’ll find one dead.  Blue Jays are a favorite of Cooper’s Hawks and I’ve seen many that were taken by the hawks.  This is the first time in 26 years that I’ve found one dead without an apparent cause. 

My first thought was of the West Nile virus and the sharp drop in the Blue Jay population when the virus came through this area several years ago.  This is just one bird though and it’s a fact of life that birds die.  Because of their small size, we rarely notice a bird carcass.  Being freshly dead and floating in the middle of the creek made this individual impossible to miss. 

I’ve always been impressed by the pattern and colors of the Blue Jay.  I enjoyed the opportunity to get a close look.  The fanned tail provided a view that I rarely observe while watching living specimens.

The Blue Jay must exhibit every shade of blue imaginable.  What a disservice it is to just describe this bird as being blue with black and white markings.

I fished the bird out of the creek and left it on the bank.  It’ll be gone by tomorrow.  There are plenty of Raccoons, Opossums and other animals that would make quick work of a Blue Jay meal.  It’s somewhat sad to see the Blue Jay in this condition, but as I’m taking this shot, I’m listening to a chorus of Blue Jays up on the ridge busily scolding some interloper into their territory.  The population is still healthy and that’s what is really important.


  1. How sad, but life does go on.... Beautiful colors for sure.

  2. Your 3rd closeup picture is absolutely incredible. What stunning feather patterns!

  3. Hi Steve...They are next to the bluebird ,in my opinion the most lovely blue colors!!
    Wonder what happen to the poor fella...a bad New years for him for sure!!

  4. Hi Lois. I agree that it's sad to find dead animals like this, but it sure gives you a great opportunity to get close up views without causing the animal any stress.

    Hi Katie. The colors and patterns on the Blue Jay have always been favorites of mine.

    Hi Grace. I like to think he was around for many years and finally died of old age.