Maybe Scrub Jays Just Don’t Like the Red Sox


The other day on my way out of the office, I grabbed a copy of National Wildlife magazine to read on the Metro ride home. There’s a great article about “Rare Experiences” with endangered or threatened songbirds. My favorite story — a close encounter with a group of inquisitive scrub-jays:

As I motioned for Julie to take a look, I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. Another one of the birds had just landed on the other side of the trail and was staring at me. Within minutes, there were at least a dozen of these big, blue birds in the surrounding trees—and every single one of them was eyeing us. I found it a bit intimidating because I had never seen birds acting so brave. My mind ran instantly to Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. Julie and I froze.

As if staring wasn’t enough, one of the birds suddenly flew toward me and landed on top of the baseball cap I was wearing. I looked at Julie and asked, “What is he doing?” Just then, the bird slammed its beak into the button on top of the hat, giving a nice thump to the top of my head. I couldn’t help but start laughing.

Needless to say, this first introduction to the Florida scrub-jay made quite an impression.

A subscription to National Wildlife magazine is free with a one-year NWF membership. More details on membership here!

Published: September 11, 2009