SUNDAY JAYS

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Its been two solid days of rain, and on a weekend. Even though it is now June, the weather is cool. Its a perfect day to lay in bed- reading, watching movies, taking yet another nap…

Amid this haze of laziness, I remember I should eat and head to the kitchen. Out of the corner of my eye and off in the distance, I see a bird fly in front of the window. At first- because of the pale breast and dark back- I think its a woodpecker of some sort, but something is off. The beak is too pale, and the colors aren´t right. Finally curiosity gets the best of me, and I have to go find my glasses to get a better look.

Once my nearsightedness is corrected, it clearly turns out to be a juvenile Yucatan Jay (Cyanocorax yucatanicus). And not just one, but several. I watch the adults feed them for a while. Finally I open the window and a swarm of flying bugs tries to enter the house. Surely this is why this family of Jays has stopped outside my window on a day like this.

baby and adult

Though I wasn´t able to capture the exact moment, the adult (dark) was feeding the juvenile (lighter) by placing bugs directly in its begging mouth.

The rain keeps me from going outside to take pictures, so I have to do it from the window, trying to avoid getting wet and ignoring as best I can the bugs landing on my arms and face.

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It is worth it. In over a decade living here, I have never seen this stage of the Yucatan Jay. The adults are everywhere, but they´re not easy to photograph. They tend to flee noisily every time I raise the camera.

But today for some reason- perhaps the weather, perhaps it´s the flying feast that keeps them distracted- they let me take their pictures. The distance, the poor light, and the angles limited by the window make it difficult, but I manage a few decent shots anyway.

hey jay

This gray, wet and lazy Sunday turned out to be the perfect day to take that picture that has eluded me for years. And without even leaving the house.

I hope your weekend was as great as mine.

baby yucatan jay 1

David Nuñez is a biologist, photographer and author of   several books on the Wildlife of the Mexican Caribbean, as well as a founding member of Mexiconservación.

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