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The breakfast show

October 7, 2020

A little while ago I wrote about the importance of acknowledging the sometimes small things in life that make me happy. At that time it was all the bees feasting on the lavender planted out back.

Today it is something else, something I have referred to in previous years: Steller’s jays, considered by me to be the blue birds of happiness.

They tend not to turn up until well into the summer. This year I was worried that they weren’t going to turn up at all. (Perhaps, like me, they’d been wondering if there would ever actually be a summer this year.)

I’ve always loved these birds, simply for their wonderful cobalt blue (my favourite) colour. It wasn’t until they first began appearing on my property a few years ago that I discovered other reasons to love them. They are clowns and they are ever so pushy. That first year they turned up I was told they absolutely love peanuts, so I bought some and also ordered a feeder like this.

Mine’s white and hangs outside on the clothesline where it can be seen from the diningroom window, through which I watch the breakfast show.

Every morning I replenish the feeder when I’ve finished writing whatever I’m writing in the morning and just before I sit down at the table with my granola (homemade!) and berries.  This is what I see.

Some mornings, while I’m writing I can hear them outside, cawing with annoyance that there are no peanuts. And then there are the mornings when I do actually write for a fair while and when cawing is not being rewarded quickly with nuts. On those mornings one of them will alight on the roof and start tapping impatiently on the skylight that overlooks my desk. As I said, they are clowns and they do make me smile.

They’re pretty quick at the feeder – quicker than my finger on the camera – so it took me a while to actually get a photo of one of them at the feeder. Yesterday morning I got lucky.

One hanging upside down to extract a nut while another sits on the clothesline impatiently awaiting his turn. (And to the right, the stained glass blue jay that hangs in the window year round to keep me going when the birds themselves have disappeared to wherever it is they go for the winter.)

One of them has actually mastered the art (as per the sample feeder photo) of landing inside the wreath. Most of them either do this (cling upside down) or fly by attempts to extract a peanut on the move. It’s all very entertaining for a poor lonely writer. I cannot tell you how much I enjoy the breakfast show.

Speaking of breakfast… The cawing has already started. If I had a lot more to say on the subject I might keep going until the skylight tapping commences (because that does make me laugh), but I don’t so I won’t.

Time for the show.

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