Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Bird brain, who me?

Bird brain, may generally be considered an insult, but I am here to tell you that I am learning from the birds.

You may recall that after Christmas I started putting out peanuts for the birds; I expected jays but got crows, very faithful crows. I feed them a few whole peanuts and then when they are gone I put a few more out. I sometimes stand by with the camera but the crows usually outsmart me and grab the nuts when I am not looking. But not always ...............

Then one day I was a little late putting out the second serving of peanuts and there was suddenly a loud chorus of cawing; I was so surprised I got up immediately (I was at the computer) and fed the crows. OK, so they are smarter than me, but I seemed to learn fast so they give me reminders regularly now, LOL.

But a couple of weeks ago I was surprised and pleased to see that a Steller's Jay was also lining up for peanuts.

Then two, then six...... They often take the time to pick up each of the nuts offered, shake each of them and then go back to the "best" nut (heaviest?) and disappear with it.

The Steller's Jays are not shy. They don't even wait until I get back inside before they arrive to get the peanuts.

Now the crows are not amused by this. They found them first and now the Steller's Jays often take all the nuts while the standoffish crows watch. He doesn't look amused does he.

So more reminders about nuts from the crows. I went out and found a much bigger bag of peanuts too; had too.

Then the other day I was working in my studio, when a Steller's Jay came to look in at me and remind me more nuts were needed. Again I was so surprised that I got up right away and put out some more nuts.

So there is another thing I learned from the birds, I am a slow learner, but they are persistent.

They are such beautiful birds, I can't resist, and I still feed the crows too.

But they don't look happy at the prospect of sharing, do they?

At my house "bird brain" is definitely not an insult. I aspire to be as smart as my birdie friends.

Last week I promised more of the teddies and tigers series, and here they are:

First,"Are We There Yet?":

 And lastly, "Storytyme Magic":

The four pictures in this series are now on display at "Image West" hair salon. For more details follow this link: GillianOlsonArt

Thank you for dropping by, happy Whimsy Wednesday, until next week .....................


  1. The one I love is the Steller's Jay, isn't it beautiful, well caught Gillian. And I thought that a mention, was the teddies, superb.

  2. Yes … birds are certainly smart enough when they can train us humans to feed them. Your stuffed toy drawings are adorable, Gillian.

  3. the stellar's jays are beautiful! don't get them here, obviously. i get lots of crows, though, and i love tossing out old bread, crackers, even chips occasionally (too much salt for frequent feeding!) they like to dip them in water first before slurping them down. too cute - and smart! glad they've trained you well!

  4. I love your drawings. One thing I learned about birds, to get a good shot of them is having bird seeds on hand.

  5. Fantastic shots! I wish I could get that close to crows. I like them, but have a difficult time getting close enough for good shots. The Stellar's Jay is a handsome bird! I've never seen one. Love the peanut shots!

  6. I like the idea of birds teaching humans. We might be much smarter if we listened more and learnt quicker. I wonder what my shorebirds would teach me?

  7. Your post has me smiling. Those are some pretty smart birds my friend. I love your photos. And of course you painting are always amazing.

    Hope you are enjoying your week.


  8. I wonder if you have read the book Bird Brains by Candace Savage. I think you would love it. This was a fun post, Gillian, and like the others, I love your stuffed toy drawings.

  9. Great shots of the birds and I also like your story time illustration. I learn a great deal from my back yard birds.

  10. Fantastic shots Gillian! Oh, they have you trained well:) They'll also eat you out of house and home if you're not careful:) The Steller's love peanuts, but the Crows being stand offish is just great:) Jays have a habit of kicking everyone off the main food area:) I love all your bird shots:)

  11. I love crows and yes, they are very intelligent. Birdbrain is never an insult. Your jays are beautiful. I can't say I've ever seen any other than Bluejays around here. I'm glad you feed your birds.. even if they are a bit demanding. And your art.. as always is very impressive. You are a multi-talent, Gillian.

  12. Loved the story told through your crow and jay photos. Your paintings are amazing! Thanks for sharing your talents with us :)

  13. "Are We There Yet?" is wonderful, especially with just the tip of tiger tail to tell the tale!

  14. Those crow shots are lovely but I must admit to being swept away by your jay shots! They are stellar! (Excuse the pun...)

  15. Nice pictures - crows of all sorts are really smart.

    Maybe we should just hand over the government to crows!


    Stewart M - Melbourne