THE. CO.IB.R Volume IX Sepfember-October 1907 Number 5 TWO STUDIES IN BLUE BY WILLIAM L. FINLEY PHOTOGRAPHS BY HERMAN T. BOHLMAN LUE is not a common color among our birds. There are many more clad in neutral tints of brown and gray than in bright blue. But a list of birds could not be complete without our two commonest studies in blue, the blue- bird and the blue jay. x In all our woods froin the Atlantic to the Pacific, one may fiud these two, one gentle and friendly, the other bold, boisterous and untrustful. A small flock of jays are such a noisy pack in the autumn. They squawk thru the woods as if'they wanted everybody to know just where they were; but in the spring after they have paired and are nesting, they suddenly go speechless as if they couldn't trust themselves to talk out loud. And indeed they can't when any- where about the nest. They talk in whispers and flit as silently as shadows thru the trees. In the early spring I heard the jays squawking about the maples on the hill, but I knew they would not nest there; that was only a play grouud. A quarter of a mile below this was a thick clump of fir saplings. They would take this thicket for a home. The last week in May I searched thru this and found the nes eight feet from the ground among the close limbs. A little earlier these same birds were blustering, bragging aud full of noise. When I found the nest, one of the birds was at home. She didn't move till I shook the tree; then she slid off silently and went for her mate. In another minute they were both there, not threatening and swearing as I had expected. It was pitiful to see how meek and confiding they had become. There was not a siugle harsh word. They had lost even the blue jay tongue and talked like two chippies in love. They had a peculiar little note like the mewing of a pussy-cat. I felt ashamed to touch the home of such a gentle pair. If this was not a two-fold bird x This article refers to the Wettern Bluebird (Sialia rnerlcana occidentalis), the California Jay (Aphelocoma caltfornt'ca), and the Steller Jay (6vanocftta stellerl), as observed in Oregon.
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