Dang. I am now responsible for this bird...and its wife.

This is a Pinon Jay - they are a special species of concern.

Yes, they look like giant bluebirds, and that is exactly how Mr. Foresterman described them to me 
as i lay in bed under the warm fluffy covers
Self-employed, self-hours, limited internet until after midnight leads to sleeping in 
with Catholic school child guilt - can I do this?  is this legal? I wonder, as I roll back on my stomach....

Anyhow, standing in the doorway I could hear him shuffle his slippers.



"uhmm, theres these huge blue birds by your feeder"

Mind you, I didnt believe him at first because for one whole solid month 
we only had two chickadee birds show up to this new bird feeding hobby of mine. 
In fact i left a comment on the spectacular bird lady of Texas's blog site  
me complaining about this exact issue- 
i thought since she is a bird goddess down there who beckons the wee ones 
she might put in a good word with them for me.  
She did.  
in flocks.



back in Wisconsin the bears would rip out anything that remotely looked 
like a healthy snack bar wrapped in hard plastic housing...
so we never had a bird feeder...

until now.

and we still dont.

yes, dont adjust the color on your screen - that is what my trees look like - dead.
Actually about 65 acres worth of Ponderosa Pines. 
And that fancy bird feeder if you notice does not have a feeder inside of it. 
it melted.

But I still throw out seed, 
hoping beyond hope that something out here lives to show some color...

besides me.

And then these guys show up; the blue bird refugee of wildfire.

"The Pinon Jay"

(however not entirely unrelated to "blue birds of happiness" or their cousins "blue birds of discontent")

 BTW thats my christmas tree - its green and I can use it for color outside! 


But nows I got blue!

errr, yay!?

As you can tell these poor refugee birds are really flighty about having their picture taken.
I had to stalk them otherwise they kept flying away


it could have been that I didnt change out of my fuzzy spotted poopy robe yet 
and they thought I was a big demented cat that was going to eat them... 

(yes, i meant poofy but it came out poopy - the word stays)


This is how they eat their seeds; they tuck them between their toes 
and crack them open;
 isnt it cute?

Im sure other birds do this too, but this is just so cute to see birds lined up snapping their toes..

I tried this with pistachios once.

it hurt.

They are so much better at it!

Anyhow, back to their plight  - the only place they can find any food are at bird feeders now!

well, except for mine.  The ground is good, right?


I am now feeling responsible for feeding 10+ homeless Pinon Jays.

And I heard they have flocks of them IN THE HUNDREDS
*"fainting, im fainting, catch m-" thud*
otherwise in my Catholic School Girl Guilty mind I think I will be considered a very poor bird hostess.

What would Gidget say????

This is all my fault.
Yes, I had two chickadees and i wished for more colorful birds.
You couldnt write this stuff- wait...?

Thats right - these special birds of concern with a very limited year around US Western range only eat pine nuts, unless they are totally  absolutely desperate and on their last seed, in which they will forego their dignity and show up at my house. repeatedly, with no sense of shame even though they are monogamous (although Im pretty sure Mrs. P Jay was chewing out Mr. P Jay for choosing to live in a bad neighborhood, and "now we have to resort to THIS" *as she waves her little bird wing around...*). 

Im a bird feeder neophyte, dont they know that??? 

Take pity, Birds!

Did you know they usually storehouse their main food source, pine nuts, 
so they can eat them later during the winter, like squirrels
  (holla to TexWisGirl, except if she also curses me with squirrels... :S )

This is why in the forests you see little stands of baby pine trees sometimes
(technical feral forestry term "baby"; sometimes used with Latin)
You can thank the Pinon Jay for planting trees!

But not this year.

During this years Drought, and largest Wildfire ever on record in Montana, 

~ just like our firewood pile that burned up in one pretty huge spectacular blaze~

their storehoused food piles burned up.

and their tree homes.

homeless, foodless...Pinon Jay Posterbird.


Its just one big blue bird pity seed party over here.

"speak for yourself, poopy robed lady"


except for SOME of us....

If you would like, please read more here about the interesting life and plight of Pinon Jays ~

excuse me, I have to go throw more bird seed now...



  1. It's nice to be needed! And I am quite sure you understand their plight... These birds are very beautiful. Feed on Feral Woman.

  2. Absolutely beautiful out there and the birds are a brilliant smoky blue. I could watch them all day! Love the pictorama!

  3. I live in the desert near Palm Springs and we had a pinyon jay in our neighborhood for nearly 4 years. Then, suddenly, he disapppeared...AND a Cooper's hawk moved in. Do you see the connection? I know the hawk got some of the morning doves that visited our yard because I have seen their feathers. I believe he also got "my" jay. "Burt", as I named the jay, would watch for my car to come into the driveway every afternoon and then sit on the fence and eye me until I remembered to put another batch of birdseed out for him! He would greet me early in the morning, too. He really was comical! He'd make a BUNCH of noise throughout the neighborhood, which became his territory (it now belongs to the hawk...sigh...). He LOVED acorns and I would stop up in our local mountains to gather them for him! Yes, he had me trained! They also enjoy peanuts and yes, they do use their bill to break them open. I could hear, "Tap, tap, tap" and know he was enjoying his peanut! I dearly miss him, but he was here almost, like I said, 4 years...that's a long time! We believe that he was blown down here in the windstorm. We have a pinyon forest just 10 minutes by car (about 10 miles) away up in our local mountains. He sure was a cute bugger! I miss my jay.

  4. I internet connection is bad today! I'm typing this a second time. Anyway, you are lucky to have some color in your feeder. I only see an occasional Cardinal and Blue Jay. I did hear a KayDee bird yesterday - so even in this subzero weather hopes of Spring are singing. I too have a poopy robe - especially when I go out and gather eggs using it as a basket. Not now in Wisconsin - however, I still have p.j.s on under my Carharts. TexWis is so nice to send you the birds - I love her photos. Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

  5. Oh Feral I am laughing and crying at the same time you should see it it is very strange looking if someone looked through the window. I am laughing, that is probably about the poopie robe comment yeah I am afraid I have that same sense of humour that some feral person does. I am crying knowing the stored pine nuts have burned and the Pinion Jay is searching and not finding his stash he worked on for so long all gone in one big fiery moment. That Tex is nice to send you some of her bird Karma stuff, I am laughing again wondering when the squirrels will show up because we all know Tex has lots of squirrels and she truly is the most generous person I know. You better get in your truck and hit the feed store that is miles and miles away I am pretty sure your life at the bird feeder is going to grow into something bigger than you ever wished.You do know with Tex sending and birds gossipping about the best place to eat in town you are going to be busy. Yeah!!!!
    Welcome back my funny Feral Friend. HUGS XXOO B

  6. You write the most delightful blog in town. "Go West" Feral Woman has it all . . . listen up people . . . stop here for a great visit filled with some joy, reality, family, life work, deep sorrow, devastation and resilience and a spirit.

    Oh my, the Piñon Jay is gorgeous . . . an omen of a visit . . . I am sure Tex has something to do with it. Truth be told, I think it is more about you and your opened "yellow poopy robe" heart.

    Loved, loved, loved this post . . .

  7. I remember complaining about birds not coming to my feeder the first 2 years I lived here.... then a couple of goldfinches showed up and they must have told every finch in the valley because now they anxiously await their morning dole. - at least a hundred of them! I, of course, am delighted.
    Pine nuts are super expensive here, I hope your birds have a little more varied appetite! I buy straight black oil sunflower seeds for the finches. Enjoy your lovely, colorful companions.

  8. I guess you better stock up on the bird seed! Those blues are sure pretty to watch though- I think it's a fair trade off!

  9. We have so many farm cats, that I can no longer have a bird feeder. I feel like an accomplice to the birds' demise. Aww- Catholic School Girl guilt just smacked me!

  10. You can always depend on Tex to help you out. I am so glad you can help those little guys. They need you! How's that for more Catholic School guilt.

  11. i saw your title, saw the first photo in my reader and said, 'AHA! she wished for it and she GOT it!' :) oh, girlie, they're just beautiful. i'm glad they have found your place out there to find sustenance - even if not their preferred pine nut (as there obviously aren't any for miles...) i hope they will keep dining as long as you keep feeding. bless you!!!

  12. Girl, you are SO hooked!!! I'm hoping that you are going to be very pleasantly surprised come spring and the earth starts rejuvenating itself around your house. Meanwhile, wanna join me with my six feeders and flocks of birds AND squirrels??? Makes for great photo opportunities. Have a good day.

  13. Such a beautiful soft blue, a substantial looking little bird, smart, got your number! Winter here has been temperate but the Steller Jays keep begging, sometimes twenty of them at once. It is great to not have our cats anymore, that drama is over for us.

  14. Hi! What lovely pics. The colour of the bird is beautiful....so blue.....we dont have it in Sweden.
    Have a great weekend!!

  15. I'm glad they found you. I have this mental pic of you out there building them some new homes.....well you would:)

  16. How wonderful! Glad they found you and I am sure you, and your Catholic School Girl Guilt, will feed them well :)

  17. Next time you go to town fill up the truck with birdseed, but maybe put it higher up, is it safe for the birds to eat on the ground (will another critter get them). I think the birds coming to you for food is a good sign - bringing life to you after the fire. Pine nuts are expensive, they have good taste in food. Hope they don't mind plain, bagged bird seed.

  18. May your birds always be happy and your robe forever poopy.

  19. How wonderful ! They are lovely. I have never seen them here, maybe too far north. Forgive me I will tell you a story about me and a blue bird. Long story short I had a BAAD day sick calf , mud blood dislocated thumb, and finally sitting in the truck with my dad after the dust/read pouring rain settled and the sun finally came out , we had just returned the calf to momma which is where the thumb and the bruises on my ribs came from ... I saw a bluebird in a shrub, I had not seen one here before and said "hey what kind of bird is that? Dad says "its a bluebird you moron" I love him soo.
    One of those "you had to be there moments", laughed till I cried

  20. The Pinon Jays add a nice splash of color to your landscape. I'm glad TWG sent you some of her awesome bird attracting Karma, she really has the touch!
    I see lots and lots of bird seed in your future because you KNOW they are going to tell all their little birdy friends about the crazy lady in the poopy robe who hands out free lunches! ;)

  21. Seeing those beautiful blue-feathered birds in the midst of your burnt out land made the devastation more real for me, somehow. But on a brighter note, how great that they found you. I think it's wonderful that you can now feed them and help them in their plight while they cheer you up and frustrate your cats with their colorful selves. Do they sing too? We only have scrub jays here; they are the least pretty of the jays, and they only screech as if to make a point they don't care.

    I have loved, loved, loved all your long comments about Samson, the Samoyeds, and my health and everything. Sorry I haven't gotten back to you earlier. I appreciate your friendship so much. And I love your posts, all of them.

  22. I forgot: Talk about guilt, you know I am retired and old too and I still feel guilty when I don't do a whole lot of stuff around here every day. And I'm not even Catholic, never was.....

  23. It's late and it's been quite a day but I am so glad I stopped by for a little bluebird happiness. Your writing is a hoot and you did a fine job stalking those feathery bottomed birdies. Much more colorful than the sparrows and chickadees that eat what they want from my feeder and then toss the rest down to the squirrels.

    As sad as your trees and bird feeder look I am SO glad you and yours survived that fire and the scorcher summer of 2012. Those P-Jays are probably learning about every handout in every town and every lock that ain't locked when no one's around.

  24. No guilt here this morning -- I was up at 3:00 am (darn allergies!) You should feel guilty, you -- Lol!

    Those jays are so brilliantly blue. Almost hurts the eyes this early in the morning.

    I'm so happy they decided to adopt you and bring alot of color to your world Janice.

    Happy Sunday! xo

  25. Lovely!!!! I miss the pinyon jays from the trail-crew-in-the-Sierra-mountains days. and who wouldn't want a hundred of these colorful raucous birds flocking to your feeders! THey are the same family as Ravens, you know, so they are all good.
    - The Equestrian Vagabond

  26. Yay! I'm glad they found you. And you them :-).


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