What Does the Jay Say?

No dogs in our yard this year, only deer passing through and more birds than we can count. Nuthatches, chick-a-dees, downy woodpeckers, even a Magpie on the feeder this morning.


And jays, Stellar jays.  Until you pay attention, their sounds blend into the backdrop of the mountain landscape.  At first, you hear their melodies: cheep-ch-cheep-cheep.  Then their complaints and cries for more seed:  caw-caw-ca-caw.  Now that I know their sounds from the rest, I hear something new.


Stepping outside, at least a dozen blue streaks retreat to the coniferous caverns above. From their balcony perches, comes a sound straight out of Predator: a click-crick-click-cl-click.  A sound that triggers a most primal response:  hairs rise, muscles tighten, and adrenaline seeps into my veins. My head sinks into my shoulders, eyes darting from branch to branch.

I fight the urge to take cover and instead make sure their feeders are full.  It is–after all–only a jay.

What does the Jay say?


slice of life challengeI’m participating in the 9th annual Slice of Life Challenge hosted by the Two Writing Teachers. Today’s slice is inspired by both the birds out the window and the song stuck in my nine-year-old’s head.  If you have trouble channeling the tune:

What does the Jay say?  click-click-cheep-cheep-caw-caw-caw-caw-caw…

ask a child to help you.  Mine even gave me feedback to make sure the rhythm was right! 🙂 So fun!


2 Comments Add yours

  1. writintime says:

    I LOVE this post! First I love to listen, really listen to the voices of the birds. We have the blue jay here on the east coast and they will sound just like our hawks sometimes! Thanks for giving voice to our feathered friends in such a clever way. Because what does a fox say anyway, hahaha!


  2. Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski says:

    Oh yes… I am all too familiar with the fox! You just reminded me I want to use this for a poetry lesson this week on onomotapeia! (Did I spell that right?)


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