[Tweeters] Steller's Jay makes quick work of Townsend vole babies

Rob Sandelin nwnature1 at gmail.com
Sat Nov 8 17:24:36 PST 2014

Today while cleaning up an old wood pile an adult Townsend vole dashed
between my legs and disappeared into the shrubbery. As I pulled out the last
chunk of plywood at the bottom, there was a nest with 7 tiny pink, brand new
baby voles. It seemed awful late in the year to be having babies. I went
to the house to get my camera and when I returned the babies had been
scattered and there were only 5. Wow, that was quick. A few seconds later a
Steller's jay landed, scooped up a baby and flew up into a tree where it
bashed the baby vole on a branch several times (tenderizing?) then gulped
it down. Over the next couple of minutes it carried off the rest of the
brood, I supposed stashing them since it returned so fast. The whole elapsed
time from discovery to gone: 7 minutes.

Rob Sandelin

Naturalist, Writer, mostly retired teacher


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