Peanuts for Peanut & friends 
& 
other fascinating visitors who come to our yard

This is a kind of story board about a Steller's Jay, who behaves quite unusual compared to the other Jays that come to our yard.  One day I noticed a Steller's Jay seemed to be following me all around my yard.  He would try to steal the peanuts I would bring to throw out to the squirrels who live around here.  So I started to throw peanuts to the Jay.  Everyday he followed me to the pond, or would hang around the deck where I would water the flowers in my containers and hanging baskets.  I always kept a pocket full of peanuts, so I would throw one to him.  One morning when I awoke, I saw him staring in our bedroom window at me.  I got up & went to the kitchen to make coffee, and within minutes he appeared and sat on the gate, staring in our kitchen window.  He was stalking me!  Soon I went back into our bedroom, and within a short time, there he was back sitting on our Juneberry tree, staring in.  How did he know what room I was in?  Click on the following slides to see a larger view of each photo to see how the friendship develops. I have included a few other photos from around our home.  All photos taken by yours truly, Cheryl Eckstein.

It started out so innocently, a jay following me all around the yard, but it turned to stalking Here he sits outside our bedroom window staring in

when he couldn't see me in the bedroom, he would fly to the gate outside our kitchen window and stare in. He wanted my attention!

I named him Peanut and would call to him. When he came, I began rewarding him by putting a peanut on the back step by our kitchen door.

I provided Peanut with many treats, sometimes 3 times a day. I would talk to him, call him Peanut, letting him get used to my voice & rewards.

Lttle by little, Peanut would inch closer. Day by day, I would move the peanuts further into our kitchen

i would put the big bags on peanuts on the floor with a few in front of the bag so Peanut would know there was an endless supply

it didn't take long for other steller jay's to notice Peanut was getting special treats ~ so they started to follow him into our kitchen.

This is one of my favorite photos, Peanut spotted some peanuts on our kitchen table and hopped right up to take it.

peanut doesn't squack to get my attention, he just seems to appear and wait patiently for me to go to the kitchen & open the door to invite him in.

Peanut isn't the only stalker around here! This is as close to the Goldfinch my cats get, with glass inbetween. A view of from our bedroom window.

Too bad my photos of Peanuts and this guy are blurry, as one day I took photos of both pearched on our Juneberry tree staring in our bedroom.

A Hummingbird taking nectar from the Bee balm flowers, in our garden

Oops,forgot to put the bird bath dish back on top of the stand! No doubt they were wondering where the bath was. I quickly replaced it full of water.

Winter 2006, view from our deck, behind me hang 6 seed feeders and 3 suet feeders for hungry visitors, but the bird bath is frozen.

View from our deck, late spring. I try to choose flowers that will attract birds, bees and butterflies. So far, so good!

We get to enjoy the long blooming time & later, the birds can feast on the seeds of these gorgeous tall sunflowers

I think this is the best photograph I've ever taken with my new digital camera

We wondered why the blanket over our outdoor freezer was shredded, momma squirrel needed nesting material for the nest she built in the chimmney!

No suet feeder is out of reach for these squirrels. The suet feeders hang outside our kitchen window, where we are daily intertained by all visitors

I love seeing these finches outside our bedroom window, but it isn't easy to get a close up without them seeing me first!

Click on photo for larger view

Taken with a flash - glass between me and the birds, but still shows some detail

Click on photo for larger view

PILATED WOODPECKER ...this big boy loves my homemade suet. This was taken from inside our kitchen, looking out, thus the reflection from the glass.

May 09.07 Click on photo for larger view - notice the Starling to his right. Starlings are a real nusicance - since I took these I have found a new tip to keep them off the suet feeders and it's working. (tip below in link section)

PILATED WOODPECKER, MAY 12.07

Click on photo for larger view

The glare from the windows make it seem like he is behind a bush! But it is just the relection in the glass window.

Click on photo for larger view

THIS IS TEACHER, OUR PEACH FACE LOVE BIRD Click on photo for larger view

Steller's Jay are smart birds and watch residents and other creatures like hawks.  It didn't take long before at least a dozen more Jays came to our carport, hoping to get treats.  There have been only 3 Jays who have come into our kitchen, but I can easily tell Peanut from the other Jays, as he is the only one who will come so far into our kitchen.  When our children, grandchildren  & visitors have come to see us, Peanut will still come into the kitchen. He doesn't seem to mind the audience, as long as we don't move.  As for our cats, well I close both entrance doors into our kitchen when feeding Peanut.  I told our next door elderly neighbor about this pastime, and he wanted to see if he could get a Jay to come into his kitchen, so we bought him a huge bag of peanuts.  Within a week, he was training them just like I did.  I think we must have the happiest & best fed Jays in the area!  We have at least 12 bird feeders, 5 suet feeders, and two bird baths in our yard.  We plant a variety of flowers to attract and feed the many species of birds who come to our yard.  Resident birds include a large number of Chickadees, Nuthatches, Finches, & Jays.  Visiting birds include Goldfinch, at least 5 varieties of Woodpeckers, Robins, Towhees, crows, various sparrows, Titmouse, Hummingbirds, Hawks (sadly Hawks have been coming the past two years most likely to catch smaller birds. Twice this winter, a huge hawk flew into our windows. Neither Hawks were injured.)

  I did not take this amazing photograph, but add it here from my See ME!  page.  I have saved a number of birds who accidentally fly into our windows, and am always grieved by the death of those I cannot save.  I see we are not the only ones who cry when a bird dies.  If a bird flies into your window, please check on it immediately.  All you have to do is pick it up and put it in a box in quiet warm place.  Wait 15 or so minutes, gently check its body and wings.  Sometimes they are just in shock, but leaving them to lie on a cool or cold ground  will most certainly cause death.  They need to be warmed up.  I usually wrap them in a tea towel right away and carry them in.  Do not feed them.  Release them as soon as you are sure they have no broken wings and are out of shock.  The uninjured ones are usually fairly perky and anxious to be free.  If the bird is injured and you don't feel you can care for it, contact your local wild life society. I keep an old cage handy, and have kept birds until they recover as long as 3 weeks.  I named one bird Lucky, because he was in a cat's mouth, and had a very badly sprained wing. It took 3 weeks for Lucky, a Bohemian Waxwing to fly again.  I tested him, by covering the mirrors and windows in our bathroom.  He became quite tame after 2 weeks.  I fed him a lot of blue berries, and the poop was incredible!  I wanted to keep him, but knew he needed his own.  The day I released him, I saw a flock of Waxwings outside on our trees.  It was amazing because I hadn't seen any since his accident.  It was a perfect day, warm, sunny and friends for him to meet.  I released him.  He flew to a tree, and stayed only long enough to munch on the Mountain Ash berries and as suddenly as the flock appeared, they all left. Cheryl Eckstein

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Photos Cheryl Eckstein.

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