I was looking through my massive archive of photos of our corvid overlords and noted a dearth of pictures of Snafu. Our favorite blue jay is camera shy. Anytime I show up with a camera (phone or regular), he goes into turbo-flit mode. The result is a series of bluish/grey blurry streaks. Snafu will hop on my hand to get food but it turns out that you can’t a take a photo with one hand–or at least I can’t. But his newest BFF, Kat, got a great shot while he was chowing down on dried meal worms. Yum?
Snafu has done a pretty good job of training his humans. Food must be presented on a palm, so Snafu can decide whether it is worth his time. He is fond of kibble, peanuts, almonds, and pinkie mice, If room service is late, he will descend to pick up the food with a squawk of complaint. If there is not enough food, he will flap his wings like a baby to get a bigger portion. If the amount offered is correct, then Snafu will collect the proffered bounty.
Snafu is a champ at picking up food. He can pick up three almonds or 8-10 kibble pieces at one time. He does it by storing food in his crop, throat, and beak and then flying off to regurgitate his loot so that it can be properly organized, i.e. eaten or cached for later. The slide show below shows how his crop bulges as he packs more edibles into it.
Snafu and I went off this morning to visit Dr. Costanzo, vet to the corvid stars. Dr. C. had no trouble noticing that Snafu is “a good eater” with ample fat stores to handle the cold weather. So Zen will have a neighbor on the back porch this winter. Our blue jay friend clocks in at 90 grams (3.17 ounces in real weight), which puts him in the middle of the acceptable 2.3-3.8 ounce range. Otherwise, the doc pronounced Snafu to be “cool” due to his calm demeanor, sound muscle structure, and good looks. That was very gracious, considering Snafu decided that the entire practice needed to know he was in the building. To achieve this goal, he opted for his high pitched shriek which sounds like the combination of a dog’s chew toy and a train whistle, with overtones of a rusty hinge and skidding tires. Delightful. I hope the rest of the day’s patients were nice quiet rabbits.
Given my terrible track record of correctly assigning gender at birth, I had them take blood for both DNA sexing and to make sure that our buddy is getting a balanced diet. All in all, smooth sailing with a corvid at a vet visit. Not quite sure what to make of that.