Monday, January 28, 2008

A Blue Jay Without Tail Feathers


It took me a few seconds or so to realize what was different about this Blue Jay, then I saw it; or rather I didn't see it, for its long tail feathers were missing! It must have had some sort of scary encounter to cause it to be without them. I had noticed it yesterday amongst the feeders and then had forgotten about it. But when seeing it was still here today I thought I would take a few pictures of it. Above; the photos show a comparison between a jay with a tail and the one without. Blue Jays are magnificent looking with their blue, white and black patterning and their presence is a constant source of beauty around our trees during the winter season. This morning we have 5 or 6 about on this snowy day.

8 comments:

Mary said...

How sad to have no tail feathers! Will they grow back??

NW Nature Nut said...

I love the last photo! We get Scrub Jays and occasionally I see Stellar's Jays in my yard. They Blue Jays seem so much more exciting, must be the "grass is greener" thing.

Sandpiper said...

I have a mourning dove who visits my feeders that has missing tail feathers, too. I think it probably tangled with a hawk and was lucky to escape. I'm told that the feathers will grow back. Great blog! I'll be back.

Mary said...

I remember learning in biology that blue feathers aren't really blue. There is no blue pigment in them, but just a trick of light. Hard to believe when you are looking at a Bluejay!

me and my camera said...

Mary... I agree with Sandpiper, that, yes, I think its tail feathers will grow back and also that it was probably a hawk encounter that might have caused the problem.

Welcome, Sandpiper.

NatureNut, I would love to see the jay species you have in your area. The only other jay species we have here in NB is the Gray Jay.

kblue said...

There is a Bluejay with no tail feathers that comes to our feeder in Baytown, Tx. Really looks strange.

Anonymous said...

There is a Stellar Jay in my yard without tail feathers, but I am intimately familiar with the reason....if accidentally flew into my kitchen when raiding the catfood bowl. When I tried to catch him, I inadvertently pulled out his tail feathers! He doesnt seem to be suffering and still waits at cat feeding time to steal the leftovers!

Anonymous said...

Hi...
I just noticed a blue jay without a tail at my feeder, here in New Brunswick, Canada. He looks exactly like the one in your photo! He seems to get around fine as he flits from branch to branch - I haven't seen him in flight yet. I'll keep an eye out for that though. Meanwhile, we're feeding about 10 constant blue jays - filling up before the snow comes!