I don't remember when I've seen so many Blue Jays at my backyard bird feeding station. They first showed up in October, and as the snow piled up and the temperatures plummeted, their numbers have increased to an all-time high: 12.
But the number isn't what caught my eye. It's their behaviors that have me spending more time watching them from my kitchen window.
After an inch of snow the other day, I watched a jay use his beak to shovel the snow to get to the cracked corn under it. Then he filled his throat with 15 pieces of corn before flying to a perch in a nearby tree, where he spent the rest of the morning soaking up the sun and watching the action at the feeders.
That was just one of the jay behaviors I hadn't noticed before.
I've also spotted them eating snow, peanut butter suet from a suet cage, millet on the ground (as many as 36 seeds at a time) and the carcass of a mouse (that I had caught in a snap trap in my basement).
But the biggest surprise so far: Blue Jays eat millet.