On Thursday afternoon, a flock of blue jays called and sang in the rain outside my window. They were so musical that I recorded them.
In the clip below you can hear rain falling and some harsh “jeer” calls, but notice the musical “tweedle” songs. Those are blue jays (Cyanocitta cristata) performing the pumphandle call as they bob on the perch. These are faint; turn up your speakers.
Blue jays “tweedle”in the rain, 22 Feb 2018, the Pumphandle call:
This call sometimes means there’s a mild threat nearby, but it’s usually heard in the spring while they’re claiming mates and territory.
After a while, the flock changed its tune. Listen for the faint “djeep djeep” in this clip.
Weather didn’t dampen the blue jays’ spirits. They felt like singing in the rain.
Watch a video that explains the blue jays’ calls, here: The Complex Calls of Blue Jays by Lesley the Bird Nerd.
(photo by Christian Lanctot via Flickr Creative Commons license; audio recorded by Kate St. John)
p.s. As of yesterday morning, February 24, I’ve heard the first robins singing in the dark.