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Outside My Bedroom Window
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 by Frank Shortt
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C

During the middle of April as remnants of a three foot snowstorm began melting, two bluejays began building their nest outside my bedroom window. The Cowboy Room is what we call my bedroom.

As these two jays worked industriously that day, something happened to cause them to change their mind. They left abruptly, leaving their nest beginnings to the wind and rain. Next we saw of them they were flying around our neighbors’ property with twigs and straw, etc. in their beaks. My wife wryly stated, “Huh, I guess we are not good enough for them anymore!”

Today, May 13, I was awakened by something pecking on the downspout by my bedroom window. “Tap, Tap, Tap,” continued until I pushed back one panel of the blind to take a peek at the sleep robber. I was beginning to feel like I was being plagued by something other than the Covid19 pandemic. It was bad enough that a neighbor’s rooster crows all day and from 4am each morning!

To my surprise, the two jays were back trying to build a nest. Could it be the original ones that tried to build before the big storm? We have decided that they are probably the same ones. They must have decided that the neighbors’ environment was not to their liking. Also, surprisingly enough, they chose the same downspout with the elbow going down to the ground. Between the house and the downward spout there is a space of about 18 inches which is almost level. This is where they chose to place the nest and the tapping was their way of preparing the base of the nest.

These denizens of the wild are expert architects. Back and forth they go, bringing in material for the nest. First are the bigger pieces of limb remnants for the foundation. Then came smaller pine needles and straw to surround the finished nest. The finished nest is lined with softer material, such as hair, lint from the dryer, and anything soft enough to make a fit pillow for the dam to lay her eggs. These jays do not waste a moment as the dam is ready to lay the eggs at any time. I watched as the two worked together erecting their temporary nesting place, such cooperation! One would fly in with twigs in its beak and transfer the twig to the other. That one would then weave the twig perfectly in the construction of the nest. After each addition, the one there would settle into the middle of the nest forming it perfectly for the laying. This could be a great lesson for the uncooperative senators and representatives in Washington D.C.

Up here in the mountains we do not ever have to attend a horserace. Just outside our windows we watch young deer racing madly through the forest. They keep this up until they become so tired that their legs will barely hold them up. We also are greeted each morning with a show from the squirrels! They begin by running up and down the oak tree in front of the window. After this display of acrobatics, they begin chasing each other up and down and around the trees, jumping from branch to branch, friskily frolicking about without a care in the world. We should be as happy as these clowns of the woodlands!

With the dogwoods blooming, as well as the rhododendrons, we are blessed, even with our separation from society! The Creator has prepared us with all the natural entertainment we could ever want, if we will only take time to gaze upon it. Meanwhile, the bluejays keep building away at the future home of their little ones!