Odd Jay Behavior

I was off the camera most of the day, but there were some great shots taken. Some of the most interesting were a sequence of ten shots of a Green Jay taken just before 2:00 p.m. (Pacific time, which apparently is the time displayed in the game, even though the camera itself is in the Central time zone).

The photos were taken by annelizabeth, eric, vanilla, and birdbrain. I’ve stitched them together into an animation to try to get a better sense of what it must have looked like to watch it live on the camera, though it’s (obviously) kind of clunky. Here it is:

Various theories have been offered for what this jay is doing. Some speculated that it might be ill. For myself, I think I’m inclined to think it was some sort of sunbathing behavior. Like anting, maybe? A means to deal with parasites? I really don’t know. But it’s very interesting to look at.

2 Responses to “Odd Jay Behavior”

  1. […] Identification challenges are fun, of course, but they’re just the first step in learning about birds and other animals. I posted an item the other day about the Green Jay spreading its feathers out in the sun (see Odd jay behavior). I likened it to “anting” (the behavior where birds will spread their feathers on an anthill, or even pick up ants and rub them on themselves), but after a little googling of the subject tonight I guess it would more properly be referred to as sunbathing. Lots of birds do it, perhaps to help with controlling mites and other parasites. […]

  2. vanilla says:

    Creative and helpful tool in ‘animating’ the photo sequences of this particular Jay, elanus!

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