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Living through a pandemic with John Jay, Beidler’s resident Blue Jay

John Jay's first blog!

Before COVID, John Jay would delight in the days of big school groups and greeting the familiar weekly boardwalkers. The past six months, we have taken frequent weekly visits to a temporarily closed Beidler Forest where the only regular visitors to John Jay’s aviary have been a pair of Carolina Wrens. He undoubtedly calls them in because he has mastered the mimic of the male’s “teakettle” whistle and chatter.

At home, bobby pins have been a favorite enrichment item for John Jay. He has discovered the different colors and texture of the variety I keep on hand during days of at-home haircuts. As I write this update, I am trying to push back the short loose hair around my face falling in front of my eyes (that hair that can’t quite make it around the ears). Two bobby pins have disappeared from my work area.

John Jay’s interest in objects change, often daily. Usually, he will become interested in something I frequently touch or use. Dollar bills stuffed in my wallet were a favorite for a while, likely because of my quick response in attempting to get the cash from him. Taking money from an extremely intelligent bird with strong flight and caching skills is tricky. I hope to find about twelve dollars in the future. At the present moment, I am at a loss and hide my wallet in an undisclosed location.

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