Well out of their territory, a pair of Stellar Jays moved in late last fall to spend the winter. Like the bears, drought conditions at the higher elevations have probably brought them here looking for food. These two are not as humanized as what can be found around High Sierra campsites where they can be a squawking nuisance, literally taking food right off your plate. With others on the ranch, I’ve never seen Stellar Jays this low before.
Our mornings are a flutter of birds getting breakfast, the usual finches, sparrows, killdeer and quail scouting nesting sites, blackbirds and phoebes busy in leafless trees. It’s not quite spring yet, but with urgency in the air. Taking coffee with my camera as the sun breaks over the ridge presents some tough lighting, and I’m learning that photographing birds is a bit more of challenge than wildflowers that only move when the wind is blowing.