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PROWLS cares for nestling Steller’s jays

Steller's jay

TRAILER PARK TUMBLE: A Steller’s jay nestling fell from its nest in the trailer park at Cranberry Lake. Its parents were upset and frantic with the situation.

Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society was quickly called and arrived to scoop up the cold nestling, which soon settled into a nest at PROWLS.

Two days later, one of its siblings also took a tumble and ended up 20 meters from where the first was picked up. After having a few substantial meals and sitting on a heating pad, they began taking in their new surroundings.

Jays are very curious, and these two enjoyed sitting by the window looking out.

Within 10 days, one was ready for release, flying and picking up its own food. Back home, it was a little less certain but finally flew off, hopeful its family was nearby. Settling into a nearby tree, it immediately started to munch, which indicated comfort.

Sadly, the sibling didn’t recover from its initial chill and weakness.

Steller’s jays have an incredible spatial memory, which allows them to store surplus food in caches. With large nuts such as acorns, peanuts and hazelnuts, they carry several at a time in their mouth and throat, then bury them one by one as a winter food store.

Definitely opportunists, they will look for handouts from people and unattended picnic items. They are very social and talkative, travelling in groups.

Sometimes playing with or chasing each other, or joining mixed-species flocks, they often keep up a running commentary on events with a wide range of calls.

A permanent resident in our region, they are the provincial bird of BC.