Blue Jays (California Coastal Scrub Jays) are smart birds and they are handsome birds, and I get the feeling they know both these things about themselves, and even more I get the feeling they are none too impressed with us humans. It’s kinda the way they look at us (see above) and scold us (see below). I always suspect they are correct when they scold me as I surely am doing something annoying.
There is at least one human being who I am certain is smarter than a Blue Jay and that is Mark Twain. So check out what he had to say on the subject…..
“You may call a jay a bird. Well, so he is, in a measure – because he’s got feathers on him, and don’t belong to no church, perhaps; but otherwise he is just as much a human as you be. And I’ll tell you for why. A jay’s gifts, and instincts, and feelings, and interests, cover the whole ground. A jay hasn’t got any more principle than a congressman.”
“A jay will lie, a jay will steal, a jay will deceive, a jay will betray; and four times out of five, a jay will go back on his solemnest promise. The sacredness of an obligation is a thing which you can’t cram into no bluejay’s head. Now, on top of all this, there’s another thing; a jay can outswear any gentleman in the mines….”
“And there’s yet another thing; in the one little particular of scolding – just good, clean, out-and-out scolding – a bluejay can lay over anything, human or divine. Yes, sir, a jay is everything that a man is.”
“A jay can cry, a jay can laugh, a jay can feel shame, a jay can reason and plan and discuss, a jay likes gossip and scandal, a jay has got a sense of humor, a jay knows when he is an ass just as well as you do – maybe better.”
Of course Twain is right, especially about congressmen, but about Blue Jays too. They are corvids and are highly intelligent with excellent memories and the ability to plan for the future, a trait once thought only primates were capable of. Jays like to hide food and objects for the future in caches and can remember the location of up to 200 of these caches. Since I regularly cannot locate my keys or glasses, I find this ability impressive.
Cheers to you from California’s bossy, sometimes dishonest Blue Jays, who are probably more intelligent than your average congressman~