I don't understand Blue Jays.
I had one hit me on the back of my head once.
We used to feed birds before a litter of ferral cats was born in our alleyway and we started feeding those instead. ("Our" cat is the only one left, semi-tame.) "Our" cat and "our" birds (two pair of Blue Jays and one pair of Cardinals) happen to be on different schedules, so we feel safe feeding the birds without luring them to their deaths (by cat). Tracy read that Blue Jays prefer raw, unshelled peanuts (which is certainly true), and that's what we've been getting. Last week we ran out and all we could find was roasted, unsalted. They seemed to like those, too, but when we ran out of those, we tried feeding them roasted, salted, shelled peanuts. They ate some, but not all.
Now we're back to raw unshelled. Each jay picks up and discards one.. two... three or more before making its final choice. They eventually eat them all, but I'd like to know why they choose one over another, Also, I'm not quite sure what they do with them (right away). They initially take them up in the tree, but the shelled nuts are too big to eat. They fly away with them and work in shifts until all are gone. First one shows up (always between 9 and 10 AM). I spread some nuts and it disappears. within five minutes, all four are there, one after another after another, picking and discarding nuts, but continuing until all are gone.
Some people don't like Blue Jays. Many of the rumors about them (according to a brief search on the internet) are not entirely true. They can be somewhat aggressive toward to Cardinals, but they're aggressive to each other, too, desite them fact that, day after day, they seem to summon each other to the spread.
This morning I spread both peanuts and sunflower seeds. the Jays ate all the peanuts and I haven't seen any cardinals today. In years past, the Cardinals preferred a sunflower/safflower seed mix, but I haven't been able to find that since our seed store moved. the Cardinals usually eat one or two of the raw peanuts.
When the blue jay attacked me, I was trying to keep a neighbor's dog away from a baby jay that was on the ground.
One pair of our Jays live in the front yard oak. They scream at me whenever I get the mail or stand in the driveway. I usually tell them to "Be quiet, I'm not bothering you!"
I never had a problem with Blue Jays or Cardinals (who have a special place in my heart as my grandfather used to catch them temporarily during the summer). I do have a Mockingbird in my front yard and while he doesn't bother me, he chases off any other bird or squirrel that goes nears his tree.
I'm a backyard birder. I love looking at Blue Jays, but they don't hang out in my yard much. For awhile I put out peanuts, and observed the same behavior Jeff described. Lots of Cardinals around, too, and they tend to bully the smaller birds. But Mockingbirds take the cake. When I first put out a suet feeder (which they especially love) I had to find a place in the yard far away from the other feeders. Otherwise they would chase all the other birds away from the entire front yard!
Unmentioned in the article is Desilu's beginning the Star Trek franchise.
The map in Jeff's post shows blue jays not in California, but I saw one (lost?) in my back yard last year. I get hummingbirds. They like the nectar I put out and the flowers on the succulents. When I was putting out a wild bird seed mixture I was getting finches and mourning doves (and one single pigeon). The finches would take the unshelled sunflower seeds out of the mix and fly away from the competition to crack them open. Where I grew up we would get mockingbirds and sparrows. Crows are all over. On two occasions I saw a tiny sparrow chase a huge crow. The crow was impressed and fled. Most likely, the crow was close to the sparrow's nest. The blue jay that attacked Pete didn't understand he was trying to help.
I’m reminded of something that happened several years ago. We used to have a potted ficus tree (about five feet tall). A hummingbird had made a tiny nest (from spider webs!) in the tree. She had laid two eggs. One day there was a very strong wind that was whipping the tree around. Gayle went out and held onto the tree while the bird was holding onto the nest. Because of Gayle the eggs were saved. After they hatched, I swear that the mother bird would hover by our sliding door and look at Gayle standing on the other side with apparent appreciation.