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Western Scrub Jay (juvenile)

We’ve had a couple of Western scrub jays (Aphelocoma californica) nest in one of our backyard trees earlier this year. They had three baby birds, and these pictures show the surviving juvenile Western scrub jay as he looked a couple of days ago. He is resembling his parents more and more every day, yet still has his shrill little voice retained from when he was very young. He is also learning how to forage for himself by scavenging acorns, worms and snails from the backyard in addition to all the peanuts that we have left out for the family. However, he still relies on his parents to feed him the occasional meal which is had through much flapping of wings and squeaking.

I hooked up my old Zeiss spotting scope to my little Canon SD-800 point and shoot the other day and captured a movie of the little guy getting a treat from one of his parents. Get it in Quicktime format here.

The concept of using spotting scopes has been building for the last little while in the birding community with some folks like Mike McDowell managing incredible shots. I figured one should also be able to get reasonable quality movies out of spotting scopes as well given that most relatively current point and shoot cameras can capture video as well. In this case, the camera was held up to the objective of the spotting scope. Better results of course could be achieved with a more fluid panning head on a tripod or some of the adapters that hook a camera right up to the spotting scope eliminating stray light and off axis rays, but for what this is, it works pretty well.

Categories: Birds.

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2 Responses

  1. thanks for this article. we saw some recently and this helped us id them as juve scrub jays , for sure.

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