Page:Condor9(5).djvu/5

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Sept., x9o 7 TWO STUDIES IN BLUE character, I never expect to see one. They go sneaking thru the woods, stealing eggs and wrecking homes of others, and squealing in delight at ever? chance to pillage--but this is legitimate in the blue jay code of morals. I have often won- dered whether jays plunder other jays, or whether there is honor among bird thieves. Are there robber barons among birds as among men? But doves could not be more gentle and loving about the home, for the jays were devoted parents. If this pair of jays carried on their nest robbing, they did it on the quiet away from home, for in the thicket and only a few yards away I found a tobin's nest with eggs, and the nest of a thrush with young birds. Perhaps the jays wanted to stand well with their neighbors and live in peace. I am sure if the robins had thought the jays were up to mischief, they would have hustled them out of the thicket. I think we give both the crow and the jay more blame for nest robbing than they deserve; for investigation shows that they eat many insects, and in some cases I have known the jays to live largely on wheat and other grains. Thruout the East the bluebird is known as the rorerminer of spring. The bluebirds are the first to return and they bring the spring with them. But in the West where the winters are not so cold, a few always stay the year around. They fly together in small flocks during the day and sleep together at night. One even- NEST AND EGGS OF THE STELLER JAY IN FIR TREE