Wednesday, 6 March 2013

More Jay watching!

I thought that the Steller's Jays were so good that they deserved an encore:

Here is a Steller's Jay striking a pose in my fig tree:

Do you like this pose.....

...or maybe this is my best profile.

"The Steller's Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) is a jay native to western North America, closely related to the Blue Jay found in the rest of the continent, but with a black head and upper body. It is also known as the Long-crested Jay, Mountain Jay, and Pine Jay. It is the only crested jay west of the Rocky Mountains." Wikipedia
"The Steller's Jay shows a great deal of regional variation throughout its range. Blackish-brown-headed birds from the north gradually become bluer-headed farther south. The Steller's Jay has a more slender bill and longer legs than the Blue Jay and has a much more pronounced crest. It is also somewhat larger. The head is blackish-brown with light blue streaks on the forehead. This dark coloring gives way from the shoulders and lower breast to silvery blue. The primaries and tail are a rich blue with darker barring." Wikipedia
Sizing up the offering.

 Almost choking on the nut?

Showing off the forehead markings:

 "Steller's Jays are omnivores; their diet is about two-thirds plant matter and one third animal matter. Food is gathered from both the ground and from trees. The Steller's Jay's diet consists of a wide range of seeds, nuts, berries and other fruit. Many types of invertebrates, eggs, small rodents, and nestlings are also eaten. There are some accounts of them eating small reptiles, both snakes and lizards. Acorns and conifer seeds are staples during the non-breeding season; these are often cached in the ground or in trees for later consumption. They exploit human-provided food sources, frequently scavenging picnics and camp sites. Steller's jays will visit feeders and prefer black-oil sunflower seeds, white striped sunflower seeds, cracked corn, shelled raw peanuts and are especially attracted to whole raw peanuts. Suet is also consumed but mostly in the winter season." Wikipedia
Are you looking at me?

Oops. Lost one over the side.......

I love this look........can anyone interpret for me?

Well, what are you looking at?

I'm talking to you!

OK, I got my nut, I'm gone

But aren't I a handsome fellow?

I thought you might also like these videos that I took of the Jays:

I hope you agree that they are worth an encore performance, these little fellows are very entertaining.

So here is what I have been up to lately in the studio:

First "The Red Door", inspired by a David Grimble photograph taken on a recent trip to France.

And "L'Osservatore" (The Watcher) is inspired by a picture I took in the Puglia (the heel) region of Italy.

Both are watercolours. For more information on these please follow this link: GillianOlsonArt

That's all for this week, thank you for dropping by.

Happy Whimsy Wednesday, until next week .................


  1. A beautiful and comprehensive study of a very smart looking bird.

  2. A great series of photos of those beautiful birds. The markings on the forehead are especially beautiful.

  3. “Harumph!” said the bird slightly embarrassed, “Haven’t we all at least once dropped a perfectly good peanut?”

  4. Great shots for the jays. I always enjoy all of your photography and art as well as your narrative.

  5. He sure is entertaining to watch.. and picky about which peanut he wants. Nice to see him at all angles.. including those markings. And your red door is lovely.

  6. Great shots of the stellar Jay. You posted two favorites of mine, the Jay and the red door. I adore that painting.

  7. I love Stellar Jays, and always get a wee bit too excited when I actually see one.

    Love it.


  8. Fantastic photos! These are very striking and handsome birds! I'm so accustomed to Blue Jays.

  9. WOW! I really enjoyed your photos. We don't see Blue Jays here in the desert at all. But I have seen a few on some camping trips.

    Your paintings looks amazing..


  10. really neat birds! like their dusky heads.

  11. Your narratives were fun to read while looking at the photos. You seem to have been absorbed in him, and I know the good reason contained in this post. Your paintings are fabulous as always.


  12. Very clear and detailed photos of the jays! Your art is just beautiful!

  13. Tha Stellar jay looks to be a wonderfully entertaining character...and a handsome one too!

  14. Awesome jay photos! I can't wait to see you paint some. Love the watercolors, as always.

  15. Lovely photos of these exotic-looking birds. I remember Blue Jays when I lived in Canada, but never saw these. Love your paintings!