Tiny Moments: The Green Jay

(from SVBC members and supporters, David and Audrey Fielding)

So, we were birding in the town of San Sebastian in the mountains just east of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, hoping to see Green Jays. It was morning and the birds were using the tree foliage off our porch as a highway to local fruit trees. Suddenly, we heard a cacophony of birdcall headed our way. The calls varied: harsh, tuneful, peeping, squeaky, mockingbird-like. And then, there they were! Green Jays, deep green, blue, yellow and black, hopping here and there. The same thing happened two or three more times, mainly in the mornings—first, the peeps and squeaks, melodic and just a bit mournful. And then the gang of Green Jays! We learned to listen for the morning concert, then run out to the porch to catch the Green Jay parade. We felt pretty smug about our ability to ID the Green Jay by its song.

. . . One morning, however, a brown bird we didn’t know perched directly in front of us on a branch and began singing the exact same song! Merlin helped us identify it—a Brown-backed Solitaire, famous for its song. So THAT was what we had been hearing—not the Green Jays after all, but the contrapuntal symphony of tinkling glass falling in minor chords of the Brown-backed Solitaire!. Who knew!!!

Green Jay and Brown-backed Solitaire photos, courtesy of David and Audrey Fielding)