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Archive for the ‘urban wildlife’ Category

baby blue jay

Baby Jay looks out on new home

Two baby blue  jays survived growing up on a fire escape in the East Village. My neighbors and I caught the two fledgling babies and brought them to the relative safety of the block’s backyard this morning.  Only two survived out of a nest of five–despite the fascination of the community and many efforts to help them. But really two is pretty good for such a ridiculous nesting spot–twelve feet above nothing but hard sidewalk, a street and lots of nosey New Yorkers. (more…)

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The first blue jay fledgling fell out of the nest built precariously on a New York fire escape this afternoon. It attracted a crowd of neighbors, who put it back in its nest and installed a plastic tarp under the whole set up.

Just yesterday I put up flyers explaining the blue jay babies were up there and it would be normal if they would fall out. If it were a forest instead of Fifth Street, they’d be fine. The parents would feed them for a couple days on the ground. The parents, however, made a really unfortunate real estate choice. Below their nest is sidewalk,  street and a tiny tree pit–no grass or bushes or any other baby bird amenity. And thousands of helpful New Yorkers walk by every day. Somebody would pick it up and bring it to their vet. That’s what happened to a blue jay nest in the next block two years ago. The mom spent weeks looking for them.

So this afternoon I got a call about the flyer from a neighbor. The one bird on the sidewalk wasn’t not fully feathered and was weak and skinny. It looked way too young to be out of the nest to me. People label New Yorkers as harsh, but soon there were six of us trying to figure out how to get the bird back on the fire escape, ringing doorbells, taping on windows.

My friend Pierre found a long board and tripped the fire escape ladder so it would fall. Generally this kind of thing is frowned upon in the city, but Pierre bravely climbed up and replaced the baby. While I was getting some clear plastic, the mother jay returned and swooped at Jonah, a 10-year-old good samaritan. Pierre and I basically lined the fire escape and left some raw peanuts for the blue jays’ trouble.

So far, so good. The mom returned, ate peanuts and sat on the nest. I got a call from the people who live in the blue jay apartment. They’d been worried about the birds and didn’t mind our clamoring over their fire escape.

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The last time cheeky wild Mommy Squirrel came inside my apartment and somehow got Mickey, the squirrel recovering from a malocclusion, to bust out of her cage, there was some question as to why I didn’t get pictures. At the time, it seemed like an emergency. 

Today I left the office for two minutes and came back to find Mommy Squirrel in my chair. So I grabbed the camera to see what Mickey would do. She came out and deliberately ate in front of Mommy Squirrel, but then seemingly ignored her. My dog Jolly would do give dogs who barked at him a kind of I can’t see you kind of nonchalance.

I hope it’s not any kind of Mickey’s disability that she actually can’t see the invading squirrel. I suspect Mickey is like my mom: she only pretends to be oblivious, but is on top of everything going on.

Where to go to See Interesting Squirrels
Where to See Wildlife in New York

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Cat gives blue jay the bird

The eggs have hatched in the fire escape nest built by blue jays on Fifth Street in Manhattan, but that hasn’t stopped the blue jay father from obsessing over a cat that lives down the block.

This video compared to the last one shows why you should use a tripod.

The tabby is no threat to him or his brood. But the blue jay is out there every afternoon that I’ve checked and some mornings, too.
I’ve also seen the cat hanging out by the window, waiting for his entertainer to show up.

I don’t really understand the feeding procedure. The mother blue jay sometimes gapes for her mate. And she also picks up something from the nest and eats it herself.

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