by Sandy Kirby Quandt
This morning as I searched the trees for one of our resident hawks, I heard a call I at first thought a juvenile hawk, only to have it give way to an incessant squawking. My juvenile hawk turned out to be a blue jay.
It didn’t surprise me to hear the jay, but it did surprise me to see where it was. Sitting on a branch near the hawk.
If you’ve read my previous entries about the hawks in our backyard, then you know they like to seek their prey in our backyard. And that was the reason for my surprise. Knowing hawks eat other birds, why was that blue jay pestering the hawk?
More puzzling, why wasn’t the hawk going after the jay?
So I did some research and discovered:
- The blue jay can be beneficial to other bird species, as it may chase predatory birds such as hawks and owls, and will scream if it sees a predator within its territory.
- It has also been known to sound an alarm call when hawks or other dangers are near, and smaller birds often recognize this call and hide themselves away accordingly.
- It may occasionally impersonate the calls of raptors, especially those of the red-tailed and red-shouldered hawks, possibly to test if a hawk is in the vicinity.
Seems the jay was warning surrounding birds and animals of the predator. Guess the hawk figured it would stay put since he’d not be able to find anything to eat with all the squawking going on.
Although I’ve written before about the need to tell those around us who Jesus is, there were several things I discovered from my observation of the blue jay and the red shouldered hawk that apply to us as well.
The jay stood his ground. He sounded the alarm and warned those around of the predator who lurked.
Good thing for the other birds the jay wasn’t complacent.
The musician, Keith Green, called people who get comfortable with their own salvation and don’t feel the urgency to tell others who Jesus is, “Asleep in the Light.”
Like the blue jay, we can be beneficial to others by screaming if we see predators in our territory. We can sound the alarm to take shelter under God’s wings. We can be vigilant and make sure we know when the enemy is in the vicinity.
In my research I never did find out why the hawk didn’t go after the jay. Do any of you know?
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I urge you, Timothy, as we live in the sight of God and of Christ Jesus (whose coming in power will judge the living and the dead), to preach the Word of God. Never lose your sense of urgency, in season or out of season. Prove, correct, and encourage, using the utmost patience in your teaching. 2 Timothy 4:1-2 (Phillips)
I wish you well.
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One of my articles is scheduled to appear on Inspire a Fire May 3, 2016. Please stop by.