Last year’s acorn crop was poor and we expected that our resident jays (Garrulus glandarius) would chase away any winter incomers migrating from northern Europe. Jays are very territorial, defending what they consider their oak tree and all their caches of its acorns.
This spring there seem to be several noisy pairs of jays in and around the park despite the failed acorn crop. While last year’s acorns may have fallen short, our population of little songbirds increased noticeably; robins, chiffchaffs, and sundry warblers and tits abound.
Jays are predators. Not only will they take the eggs and nestlings from an unattended nest but they will pursue and kill small birds with astonishing agility. Our apparently successful efforts to attract songbirds into the park’s habitats will also have attracted the creatures that hunt and eat little songbirds, jays among them.
Such is life.
Header and footer pictures by DKG
Conservation status: green; population fluctuating with no long term trend
More about jays:
Have you thought about volunteering for Park Watch?