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Steller's Jay learned behavior?

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  • Bob Martinka
    Birders: For the past 5-6 weeks, I have had both Clark s nutcrackers and a Steller s Jay using my feeders regularly. The nutcrackers relish the unshelled
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 1, 2007
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      Birders:

      For the past 5-6 weeks, I have had both Clark's nutcrackers and a
      Steller's Jay using my feeders regularly. The nutcrackers relish the
      unshelled peanuts I keep on hand for the occasional blue jays that
      stop by in fall. Suet is also a favorite of theirs. The Steller's jay
      seemed to eat white millet exclusively, ignoring the sunflower seed,
      unshelled peanuts and suet. The nutcrackers are dominant and the jay
      stays in the background when they are present and wait for them to
      leave. Beginning yesterday, the jay began taking the unshelled peanuts
      like it was an old hand at it and deftly extracted seed from the shell
      with a little bit of pecking. Was it the cold weather that prompted
      the jay to begin eating the peanuts or did it learn how to use them by
      watching the nutcrackers? Or is there some other rational explanation?
      Do others of you who have Steller's jays see them eating unshelled
      peanuts?

      Or should I just get back to finishing my home improvement projects -
      as I have been admonished to do???

      Bob
    • ned batchelder
      Birders and Bob, Learned behavior is fun to watch. I always wonder what else we are missing.......... while doing such things as home improvement projects !! I
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 1, 2007
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        Birders and Bob,
         
            Learned behavior is fun to watch. I always wonder what else we are missing.......... while doing such things as home improvement projects !!
        I didn't know Steller's would go for  white millet.
         
        In Red Lodge while working with hummers, a homeowner had a special spot on the deck rail for the daily Steller's unshelled peanut.  It always seemed like the same bird, and it would sometimes wait if the homeowner was late for the morning peanut, and vocalize. I'm sure there were afternoon treats sometimes also. A nest was at the next door porch shrub with chicks for the two years we were there.
        Feeding birds is a good thing.
         
        Ned and Gigi Batchelder
        Hamilton, MT.
         


        Bob Martinka <birder_bob@...> wrote:
        Birders:

        For the past 5-6 weeks, I have had both Clark's nutcrackers and a
        Steller's Jay using my feeders regularly. The nutcrackers relish the
        unshelled peanuts I keep on hand for the occasional blue jays that
        stop by in fall. Suet is also a favorite of theirs. The Steller's jay
        seemed to eat white millet exclusively, ignoring the sunflower seed,
        unshelled peanuts and suet. The nutcrackers are dominant and the jay
        stays in the background when they are present and wait for them to
        leave. Beginning yesterday, the jay began taking the unshelled peanuts
        like it was an old hand at it and deftly extracted seed from the shell
        with a little bit of pecking. Was it the cold weather that prompted
        the jay to begin eating the peanuts or did it learn how to use them by
        watching the nutcrackers? Or is there some other rational explanation?
        Do others of you who have Steller's jays see them eating unshelled
        peanuts?

        Or should I just get back to finishing my home improvement projects -
        as I have been admonished to do???

        Bob



        Be a better sports nut! Let your teams follow you with Yahoo Mobile. Try it now.

      • Chad Adams
        Bob - We have a place in Island Park, ID where we get a lot of Steller s Jays. They get fed unshelled peanuts in the winter, along with other seed and suet.
        Message 3 of 3 , Dec 1, 2007
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          Bob - We have a place in Island Park, ID where we get a lot of
          Steller's Jays. They get fed unshelled peanuts in the winter, along
          with other seed and suet. They usually take the unshelled peanuts
          first, even with shelled nuts next to them. They usually fly off
          with the entire unshelled nut and stash them in various places, then
          eat a few by pecking the shell a few times woodpecker-like to get at
          the nut inside.

          --- In MOB-Montana@yahoogroups.com, "Bob Martinka" <birder_bob@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Birders:
          >
          > For the past 5-6 weeks, I have had both Clark's nutcrackers and a
          > Steller's Jay using my feeders regularly. The nutcrackers relish the
          > unshelled peanuts I keep on hand for the occasional blue jays that
          > stop by in fall. Suet is also a favorite of theirs. The Steller's
          jay
          > seemed to eat white millet exclusively, ignoring the sunflower seed,
          > unshelled peanuts and suet. The nutcrackers are dominant and the jay
          > stays in the background when they are present and wait for them to
          > leave. Beginning yesterday, the jay began taking the unshelled
          peanuts
          > like it was an old hand at it and deftly extracted seed from the
          shell
          > with a little bit of pecking. Was it the cold weather that prompted
          > the jay to begin eating the peanuts or did it learn how to use them
          by
          > watching the nutcrackers? Or is there some other rational
          explanation?
          > Do others of you who have Steller's jays see them eating unshelled
          > peanuts?
          >
          > Or should I just get back to finishing my home improvement
          projects -
          > as I have been admonished to do???
          >
          > Bob
          >
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