After several weeks of cold clear weather, and cold rainy weather, and cold cloudy weather (ok, ok - cold for northern California! All right??), last week the weather changed and we had warm sunny weather. By "warm", here, I mean, mid-60's! (Yes!)
So in the warm sunny weather I found myself walking home from the transit station last Friday, and I saw the damndest bird behavior I'd ever seen - there were two scrub jays apparently fighting on a lawn:
They were squawking madly at each other, scrabbling around in the grass.
You sort of expect to see birds fighting in the air, yes? I don't know - all I've ever seen scrub jays do is steal food.
They were scratching at each other's stomachs with their feet, and occasionally pecking at each other:
With no particular evidence (scrub jays aren't especially sexually dimorphic), I assume this was a pair of males fighting over a female - there was a third jay sitting on a wire overhead, squawking regularly. I cast that one for the role of female. Could this be some kind of courtship display or are they really fighting over the female?
I got one more picture that looks a little more affectionate, but believe me, the birds weren't acting affectionate:
They kept at it long enough for me to shoot these pictures with my cell phone (I really have to think about getting a functional digital camera); and then they all flew away, including the one on the wire.
If any of my genius readers can confirm what they were doing, I'd appreciate it.